Although coal is not used nowadays to warmth up houses and factories, its use is wholly much like what it has been over the generations - as fuel. Only this time, coal is used for the generation of electricity, which is then transmitted over power lines to heat up homes and factories, and in methods too a number of to count. Even in this nuclear age, coal accounts for 49% of all the electricity generated in the United States, and for forty% of worldwide production.

The expenditure of coal to produce electricity is a merely latest growth in the history of use of coal. From the prehistoric occasions when early people discovered that sure black rocks may burn, to the Hopi Indians during the 1300s utilizing coal for cooking, heating and pottery, to the Industrial Revolution in the 1700s fueled by coal and steam engines, coal has been an integral a part of human development over millennia.

Regardless of the emergence of new applied sciences, coal as an energy answer is unquestionably a sexy proposition for the long run, supplied sure measures are taken to clean up the processes. We current right here among the professionals and cons of coal as an energy resolution:


1. Availability - The largest benefit coal has as an energy solution is its existence. In 2006, the United States Energy Info Administration revealed figures of 930 billion quick tons of get wellable coal reserves in the world. Of those, the United States has the maximum share of 27%.

At current levels of extraction and consumption, these ought to final more than one hundred thirty years. Even considering growing rates of consumption of round 2-3% yearly, the reserves should last more than half a century. Moreover, it is simpler to determine their locations and extract the mineral using existing technologies than with different energy sources.

2. Value - Coal is without doubt one of the cheapest energy sources accessible. In addition to its abundance, the method for generating electricity from coal is cheaper than alternate options like nuclear and hydroelectric power. Though these alternate options could also be less pricey in the long run, they require big preliminary investments.

3. Security - As compared to nuclear energy, thermal energy or electrical energy generated from coal is considered much safer. Accidents at thermal crops won't cause as expansive incident because the Chernobyl disaster.


1. Acid rain - Coal has a number of impurities like sulphur and nitrogen compounds which are launched into the environment on burning. In combination with water vapor, they cause acid rain that's dangerous to crops and animals.

2. Global warming - Coal is a type of carbon, which on burning produces carbon dioxide (CO2). CO2 is a potent gas that, when current within the environment, traps terrestrial radiation and heats up the earth in a circumstance known as international warming. This has long-time period effects on climate and biodiversity.

Various steps are being taken to address these two issues. At this time, with current expertise, it's potential to filter out ninety nine% of the tiny particles and remove more than 95% of the acid rain pollution in coal. "Clean coal" technologies are here to stay.

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John Smith, our traveler