Steam and Air-Conditioning Supply

SIC 4961

Companies in this industry

Industry report:

This industry comprises companies that produce and/or distribute steam and heated or cooled air for sale.

This industry is dominated by large competitors. In addition to the production and sales of steam and hot air, establishments in this industry produce geothermal steam and trailer-mounted air-conditioning used as back-up cooling systems. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 68 establishments operated in this specific industry in 2009. In the first decade of the 2000s, one of the industry leaders was Trigen Energy Corp., which was acquired in 2007 by Veolia Energy, a global leader in renewable energy. Paris-based Veoia Energy recorded overall sales of more than $46 billion in 2010. Trigen operated 46 cogeneration and district energy facilities that produced steam, hot water, electricity, and chilled water for 1,500 industrial and commercial customers throughout North America.

The industry was bolstered with renewed promise in the early twenty-first century as the United States sought, invested in, and developed alternative energy sources. Geothermal systems and cogeneration--conserving fuel through improved energy efficiency--were receiving most of the attention in this industry. Thermal production processes produce excess heat, but only 30 to 40 percent of that thermal energy is converted to usable electricity. Combined heat and power (CHP, or cogeneration) technologies recover heat that normally would be wasted, save the fuel in an electricity generator, and produce heat or steam at a facility located near the consumer. CHP offered dramatic advantages in efficiency and much lower air pollution than conventional technologies--an efficiency rate of 89 percent compared to the 55 percent of conventional power. A wide variety of CHP technologies generate electricity and meet thermal energy needs (direct heat, hot water, steam, process heating or cooling) simultaneously, at the point of use.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the efficiencies of CHP reduce traditional air pollutants and carbon dioxide, the leading greenhouse gas associated with climate change. A CHP system can produce the same electrical and thermal output at 75 percent fuel conversion efficiency compared to less than 50 percent for separate heat and power. According to the EPA, the result is a 50 percent gain in overall efficiency, resulting in a 35 percent fuel savings.

In 2008 cogeneration was used to produce 8 percent of U.S. electric power, saving building and industry owners more than $5 billion in energy costs and preventing the release of more than 35 million metric tons of carbon equivalent into the atmosphere. Leading the charge was California, where there were more than 770 active cogeneration projects in 2006, representing 17 percent of power generation in the state. Hospitals, universities, food processors, refineries, and various industries used cogeneration to power their facilities. The excess electricity they produced was sold under contract to investor-owned utilities for use by California consumers. Con Edison, on the east coast, distributed 30 billion pounds of steam yearly to 100,000 buildings in Manhattan--the largest steam-powered district in the world.

Food and beverage processors are an example of energy-intensive industries making use of cogeneration. Many of the industry's processes require heat, and thermal energy (waste heat) can be recovered and used for processing raw materials or vented into a chiller or desiccant for efficiencies up to 80 percent. Sunkist Citrus Juice and Oil (CJ&O), for example, uses two cogeneration units that can produce 95 percent of the energy needed to run plants. For the eight months of the year when the plant processes oranges, the generators produce all the necessary electricity. Overall, CHP cogeneration systems accounted for 22 percent of energy used in beverage manufacturing in 2006.

Development of cogeneration was spurred by the 1970s energy crisis and the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA). PURPA was intended to encourage more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly commercial energy production. However, development of and investment in cogeneration technologies cooled somewhat in the 1980s. Nevertheless, sustained improvements led to one of the largest cogeneration projects of the 1990s, administered by Virginia Electric & Power Co. Other utilities observed Virginia Power's efforts, and a new wave of cogeneration projects emerged in the first decade of the 2000s.

On the federal level, renewed interest was rising in cogenerated power in order to decrease carbon emissions. At the end of the first decade of the 2000s, most cogenerated power remained in manufacturing industries, with chemical, food and beverage, and paper industries the leading users. In 2011 the State and Local Energy Efficiency (SEE) Action Network set goals related to CHP as proposed by the Industrial Energy Efficiency and CHP Working Group. One of those goals was to "reduce industrial energy intensity by 2.5% annually through 2020 and install 40 GW of new, cost-effective CHP by 2020." These actions would result in the U.S. industry using 10.4 fewer quads of energy (the industrial sector was expected to consume 41.6 quads of primary energy annually by 2020). Clean Energy Application Centers around the nation were to help coordinate the efforts.

Key challenges remained in the first decade of the twenty-first century for further applications of cogeneration. There were no industry and nationwide standards for interconnecting CHP units, frustrating attempts to mass-produce distributed generators that can operate in any state. Regulation of CHP was at the state level, and promoters of CHP argued that national deregulation and tax incentives would spur further industry growth. The Environmental Protection Agency teamed with numerous companies in the industry to form the Combined Heat & Power Partnership. A major goal of the EPA CHP Partnership in 2006 was to increase the amount of CHP to the U.S. power supply. In addition, the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 increased the tax incentives for businesses that installed CHP systems, and by the early 2010s companies across the nation were incorporating the new technology into their operations.

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News and information about Steam and Air-Conditioning Supply

Net FDI Inflows Reach $1.5 Billion in February
Manila Bulletin; May 10, 2018; 536 words
...and recreation; and electricity, gas, steam and air-conditioning supply activities. Reinvestment of earnings as...construction; and electricity, gas, steam and air-conditioning supply activities. As for reinvestment of earnings...
Industrial Production Index Up in March
Palestine News Agency (WAFA) (Gaza, Palestine); May 3, 2018; 318 words
...which had the share of 83.19% of the total industry. Meanwhile, activities of Electricity, Gas, Steam and Air Conditioning Supply decreased by 6.51% which had a share of 11.98% of the total industry. C.K./M.K. [c] 2018...
Turkey's Industrial Output Rises in February
Anadolu Agency (AA); April 16, 2018; 502 words
...4 percent while the electricity, gas, steam, and air conditioning supply index was up 3.3 percent during the same...month in February. The electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply index dropped the most with 1.1 percent...
Industrial Production in Bulgaria Down 1.5% MoM in February
Sofia News Agency; April 10, 2018; 525 words
...Production Index rose in the electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply by 1.4%, while the production decreased...by 14.2% and in the electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply by 2.3%. In the manufacturing, the more...
FDI Posts $919-M Net Inflows in January - BSP
Manila Bulletin; April 10, 2018; 550 words
...infusions were invested mainly in manufacturing; financial and insurance; real estate; electricity, gas, steam and air-conditioning supply; and wholesale and retail trade activities," said the BSP. In January, net investments in debt instruments...
Armenia Electricity Distribution Modernisation
Mena Report; April 14, 2018; 455 words
...and to provide for the incremental demand from new customers. Sector(s) Energy Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply Proposed EIB finance (Approximate amount) EUR 80 million Total cost (Approximate amount) EUR 173 million...
Industrial Output Surges in January
Anadolu Agency (AA); March 16, 2018; 435 words
...3 percent, while the electricity, gas, steam, and air conditioning supply index was up 3.2 percent during the same...to December 2017. The electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply index rose slightly 0.6 percent month...
Bank Lending Expands 19.5%; Money Supply Stands at P10.7 Trillion in Feb
Manila Bulletin; March 28, 2018; 616 words
...real estate activities, electricity/gas/steam and air-conditioning supply, wholesale and retail trade, repair of...loans. Lending to the electricity/gas/steam and air-conditioning supply also increased by 28.5 percent, while...

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