Coal use and coal mining have historically negative impacts on the environment especially harmful gases including carbon dioxide and methane. President Donald Trump in March 2017 lifted a moratorium that has been in place for federal coal leases granted by the United States. This process of lifting the moratorium permits companies to begin excavating this fossil fuel from public lands so that the production of coal energy can be maximized.
Coal energy is a cost-effective resource and it is the biggest advantage. The current stockpiles of energy can provide the world with more than a century of energy. On the other hand, US-based coal reserves will last over 400 years. Moreover, we have energy resource available through coal that supports its delivery.
The main disadvantage of using coal energy is the potential damage to the environment and carbon dioxide is released in large quantities. Additional emissions are released through mining and delivery processes and this power resource could be changing how our planet can function. In this article, we are going to have a look at the pros and cons of using coal energy.
Pros of coal energy:
Let’s first have a glance at the pros of coal energy.
Availability makes it affordable for all:
There is an estimated global reserve of this fossil fuel that could be more than a trillion tons beyond the stockpiles of coal that already have been mined.
Whereas with other fossil fuels, at the current consumption level new deposit discoveries will not last and coal gives us security in knowing that our current society and lifestyle has the potential of being around many years to arise.
Convertible into different forms of fuel:
It can be easily converted into solid or either into liquid. Moreover, this process when completed coal energy burns cleaner than it could burn in its natural state. It has been observed that particular counts are lessened through this conversion process and without compromising the high load factor that is generated.
Coal energy is quite cheap:
The price of a ton of coal can be as much as it cost a family about a family of four to have lunch somewhere. Thus, the cost of this fuel resource is so expensive and the power it produces. It gets consumed and is inexpensive. For many years coal is just a few cents per kilometer hour. It also makes energy sources available to virtually everyone and can be called upon at any time.
Energy infrastructure supports coal energy:
Combusting coal has indeed been a method of energy generation for more than two centuries. The industrial sector has been discovered ways to harness the power that coal energy possesses. Businesses were throwing coal into fireplaces to warm their buildings. Energy could throw energy into boilers to produce steam energy that can be used for transportation in the future.
Coal could fuel it and our infrastructure was built by the idea around it.
No lag time associated with coal energy:
Renewable energy resources such as wind power and solar energy may not have the same emissions that coal produces but they cannot be used all time. If the sun goes down or the wind stops blowing, a community must rely on saved energy through batteries. However, there is a need for power and it includes the ability to burn extra during peak demand times.
Limit emissions that are released:
Coal energy is responsible for about 50 percent of the electricity being produced in the United States by end of 2020. Thus thanks to coal clean technologies, many of the emissions are released during the combustions phase of this source can be captured. It also limits the potential damage to the environment.
The atmosphere also helps to maintain current infrastructures.
Cons of coal energy:
Now let’s jump into the cons of coal energy.
Destroys natural habitats:
A variety of processes are utilized to remove coal from the ground. It also destroys the natural habitat in that region. A major part of destruction also involves the potential pollution of groundwater tables and the removal of trees. There is also added danger of having fire begin in a coal mine and coal has been burning for more than 120 years.
Relies on infinite resource:
There are large deposits of coal available to produce energy in the world today. Coal energy is a finite resource and fossil fuel. Our societies must look for alternatives for energy sources before this resource runs out at some point in time.
A similar amount of energy may be important to transition to other forms of energy even if it took 200 years to create our infrastructure on coal.
Produces radiation and does not move forward:
Coal energy burns more outward radiation exposure than a nuclear power plant will produce when burned at the coal-fired power plant. These emissions are also associated with an increased level of asthma and lung cancer for local populations when compared with other forms of energy.
The infield of coal energy, clean coal is a positive revolution and we are almost using the same technologies that our forefathers developed in the industrial revolution.
Are not without cost and produce deadly consequences:
The technologies are in need to convert coal-based fire plants to clean coal and it could decrease the energy cost for individual consumers when looking at the process of carbon capture and storage.
According to recent stats by Live Science, some carbon capture and storage technologies could increase the price of energy by about 75 percent.
But it is not without risk and coal may be proven technology. Hence the concentrated carbon dioxide when piped out of the plant could be deadly when inhaled.
Carbon when dissolved is highly acidic and could add up to the groundwater tables of the planet. Because there is much destruction potential to coal energy, depending upon it could either move society backward.
The above-stated pros and cons of coal energy show it leaves a positive impact on society. But on the other hand, its future may lie somewhere. Coal energy is an affordable resource and provides reliable power. It also provides potential damage to the planet and may outweigh many of the benefits that can be obtained.