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Coal energy is a non-renewable source of energy used to generate electricity. Coal is an affordable and number one source of energy for manufacturing plants and home appliances. There is an abundant supply of coal energy which is easy to extract and burn.
1. High load factor: Coal offers continuous energy supply. Various infrastructures are designed to utilize inexpensive coal energy with high load factor. This makes it an efficient and predictable source of energy.
2. Abundant supply: Industrialized countries have a large amount of coal available to fuel current resources for several years. Coal energy is more sustainable compared to other fossil fuels which will not last a century.
3. Cost-effective: Capital investment in coal technology is relatively low compared to other fuel sources. The low cost of the fuel resources produces a relatively inexpensive power for consumption.
4. Energy infrastructure support coal: Before cost-effective methods to harness coal energy by the industries, people were using coal in the fire areas to warm buildings. It was also used to generate steam energy for transportation by throwing coal into a boiler.
5. Converted into different forms: Coal can be converted to liquid or gas state for use in various infrastructures.
6. Capture of carbon dioxide reduce carbon emissions: The CCS technology which is used to capture and store carbon dioxide produced during combustion of fossil fuel reduces the emission of carbon to the atmosphere.
7. Use of coal with other renewable energy reduce emission: Incorporating biomass technology and coal facility into the same power plant allow dual fuel source. This ensures the little amount of coal used reduce the amount of ash and carbon dioxide produced in the burning process
8. Large global reserves: The estimated coal reserves is more than 1 trillion and can last for more than 400 years based on the current consumption levels.
9. A reliable source of energy: Coal can be burned 24/7 making it a reliable source of energy. It can be accessed anytime it is needed compared to wind power which depends on the flow of wind.
10. Availability: The available coal resources make it very affordable and most used source of energy for home appliances and industrial use.
1. Non-renewable source: Although there is an abundant supply of coal across the world, at some point it will be depleted.
2. Creates a high level of radiation: The coal ash produced during the burning of coal creates a high level of radiation. The amount of radiation produced by a coal power plant is 100 times that produced by the nuclear power plant.
3. Environmental pollution: Combustion of coal produce mercury, heavy metal, nitrous oxide and other pollutants which have a negative impact on the environment. The gases emitted can lead to the creation of acid rain.
4. High levels of carbon dioxide: Compared to other sources of energy, coal produces the highest amount of carbon dioxide which contributes to global warming.
5. Health Hazard: High exposure to coal emission can cause asthma or any conditions associated with air passageway inflammation. Coal ash can cause lung cancer.
6. High levels of methane: The CCS technology is not 100% effective, coal combustion produces carbon dioxide and other contaminants. It also produces high levels of methane which can sink at the bottom of the sea destroying marine life.
7. Destruction of natural habitats: Fire from the burning coal cause underground burning. The open-cast method for coal mining destroys local animal habitats and deforestation.
8. Displacing and relocation of people: People around the mining area have to move to avoid pollution from the coal mine.
9. The cost of clean coal technology: The cost of converting the coal power plant to clean energy and carbon capture adds to the cost of coal consumption.
10. Mining accidents: Underground mining can cause land sliding and risk to personal life.