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Environmental Impacts Of Distributed Generation

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Sustainable Engineering

Tagged Division

Environmental Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.684.1 - 12.684.8



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Paper Authors

author page

Stanley Greenwald New York Institute of Technology

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract


Abstract ------- Electricity demand, air pollution and greenhouse gases are increasing by 10% per year or more in many of the developing countries. The corresponding increase in infrastructure systems to provide the generating capacity is often beyond the means of most countries especially those with large, often isolated rural populations. Thus, decentralized or distributed generation (DG) using a variety of locally available fuels is often the only attractive solution to insure sustained economic growth and reduction in air pollution. The future technical leadership in developing the DG capacity can be provided by foreign-born graduate students currently enrolled in the M.S. in Environmental Technology or M.S. in Energy Management programs at NYIT. A graduate level course, Power Plant Systems, taught by the author, requires that each student submit a feasibility study for DG in their home country. The results of the feasibility studies including a variety of techniques using different fuels that can reduce air pollution and greenhouse gases and are incorporated into the syllabi of several courses.


The ability to meet the growing demand of power generation is directly dependent on the technical leadership and training received by students from the countries in need of new generating capacity. In this regard, a three-credit graduate course “Power Plant Systems” is offered as an elective in the Master of Science in Environmental Technology and is required for the Master of Science in Energy Management programs at New York Institute of Technology in addition to a six-credit thesis and studies in air pollution, waste management, law, risk analysis, auditing, groundwater contamination, GIS, OSHA- Hazwopper and many more. Each student is required to submit a feasibility study for the development of a Distributed Generation system in their homeland including a demographic analysis of the local area in question and estimation of electric load requirements for residential, commercial and industrial customers. The course and project outcomes include a site plan, type of power plant, quantities of fuel, generating capacity, construction and generating costs. The student must discuss the environmental concerns and impacts on the area in question in addition to greenhouse gas reduction techniques.

Outcomes Assessment

The student is expected to design a distributed generation system that will meet the energy requirements with due consideration of the environmental, economic and social needs of the host country. Weekly meetings with the faculty member include a continuous assessment of the student’s progress from conception, electric load analysis; type, size and siting of power plant to construction and operational costs and global warming potential. At the conclusion of the project, the student is required to defend his/her study before a peer group, thus providing individual and group feedback to support the project’s conclusions. The assessment of the course indicated that most of the students and two of the three mentioned in this paper are employed in the energy generation fields while the third student is completing his Ph.D. in environmental engineering.


Electric power is becoming the required source of energy for economic growth in the modern world. Rapid economic growth in the lower wage developing countries requires electric power to produce the goods in demand by the more developed parts of the world. The industrialized countries require more

Greenwald, S. (2007, June), Environmental Impacts Of Distributed Generation Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--3057

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