TAG: Coal

Coal Emissions Increase


The coal industry has been in decline in recent years in the U.S. However, despite an 11.4 percent decrease in 2012, coal emissions in the U.S. are expected to grow by 6.19 percent this year, as predicted by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Not quite seven years ago, coal once made up 50 percent of electricity generated in the U.S. It now accounts for 38 percent. Part of coal’s very demise over the last few years has been attributed to the lower cost of natural gas. But as energy needs and the cost of natural gas increase, coal seems… read more

CO2 from Power Plants Could Produce Electricity

CO2 from Power Plants Could Produce Electricity

Worldwide, power plants that burn coal, natural gas, or oil to generate electricity release a huge amount of CO2 – estimated at 12 billion tons of carbon dioxide released each year, as a byproduct of combustion. An additional 11 billion tons of CO2 per year is released to heat residential and commercial buildings generates, which adds up to quite a burden on the Earth’s atmosphere. But a new technology could be capable of using that same waste CO2 and generating electricity with it, which would turn a liability into a huge asset for the power industry. In a paper published… read more

Los Angeles to Go Coal-Free by 2025

LA Beyond Coal

The mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, has announced that over the next 12 years, the giant metropolis will completely eliminate coal as an energy source on its grid. While LA has made earlier moves to source some of their energy through renewable energies, this ambitious plan takes aim at the 39% of the demand that is currently met by coal. The plan calls for a gradual transition over the next 12 years, with the city ending its contracts with coal plants and covering the resulting gap in demand with power from cleaner energy sources, such as natural gas. “Los… read more

The Future Of Coal

Future Of Coal

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), coal demand is growing everywhere but the United States. Coal demand in the United States grew 4.3% (304 million tons (mt)), compared to Chinese demand growth of 233 mt. The amount is misleading though, because despite the demand growth, it is less than the growth in previous years. Unfortunately, from an environmental advocacy perspective, the decrease in coal usage is a result of the increase of shale gas production and usage, specifically in the United States. Additionally, a decrease in domestic usage of coal will have negative impacts on employment in the coal… read more

Clean Coal Conundrum

Carbon sequestration

The term “clean coal” sounds paradoxical, but it is theoretically clean.Well, if “clean” means “not in the air”. Theoretically, coal can be “clean” in two different ways. Carbon sequestration captures the emissions from burning coal before they exit through the smokestack, and stores them deep underground where they can’t escape. The technology isn’t available for carbon sequestration now, and likely won’t be for decades. Further, the process isn’t economically viable, but if it is a component of a clean energy policy, then its progress will accelerate from additional resources. The other way to have clean coal is to use what’s called a “scrubber”, which… read more