Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Future of Coal

America is having large coal resources but not like as before. In 2007 the National Academy of Sciences told that in its report that the country likely has at least a 100-year supply at today’s consumption levels, but that could not confirm the often quoted assertion that the nation has a 250 year supply of coal.

Since then, the U.S. Geologic Survey substantially reduced its estimate about the amount of coal, which is economically recoverable in the nation’s most important coal field, the Powder River Basin. Anyhow even if the United States coal reserves remain abundant, there are other factors, which may limit the coal use. As there are future expected limits on carbon dioxide emissions, which will very likely reduce the production of the coal, in the absence of the success of carbon capture and confiscation on a large scale.

The world is beginning to signs already of the effect of expected future carbon dioxide regulations, and other policy and market changes, on the expansion of coal burning electricity. Power companies had started to integrate the future price of the carbon into their cost estimates for new plants, that’s the reason, which is seriously impacting their decisions over whether to build new coal plants.

There are so many coal plant proposals in the pipeline and more than 100 coal plant proposals were rejected by regulators in the last few years.

Coal plants are getting increasing attention due to of greenhouse emissions, and also for reduction of CO2 contribution from coal plants. Carbon capture and storage technology can play a major role in reducing plant emissions in the future.

Aside from those above-mentioned reforms there are other available alternatives to coal power that can meet our energy needs and reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants. UCS analysis in 2009 shows that policies that promote aggressive investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy will allow United States to reduce vividly its dependence on coal power about 85% till 2030.


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