Benefits of Coal as an Electricity Generation Source
Despite getting a bad name in the media, Coal is a reliable and abundant resource fueling the modern western society. Coal has been fueling our lives since it first spawned the Industrial Revolution back in the late 1700s. To this day, coal remains one of our primary sources of energy and provides tens of thousands of jobs to countless hard-working Americans around the nation. If you’re interested in learning more about the various benefits of using coal as a source for electricity generation, then look no further than these next few lines.
Coal is a cost-effective solution.
Coal is one of the most affordable sources of energy available to us, and it’s a much more cost-effective solution than other options such as nuclear, oil, and natural gas. According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, coal is the “least expensive for its energy content and is a major factor in the cost of electricity in the United States.”
Furthermore, many of our technologies and national electricity grids are already designed to use coal. This means that the amount of capital investment needed to create new resources is also lower than with other alternative solutions, such as renewable energy sources.
Coal is reliable.
Coal can be burned 24 hours a day, seven days a week to produce energy fit for sustaining the needs of our modern society. It is predictable, pragmatic, and reliable, which is not the case with alternative solutions such as solar or wind. As the Seattle Times put it, “wind and solar power flow when the breeze blows and the sun shines.” Coal, on the other hand, never quits. It works overtime.
Coal provides thousands of American jobs.
The coal industry is responsible for providing tens of thousands of jobs to hard-working Americans. This is due to the fact that there are numerous jobs in the areas of coal removal, transportation, burning, and disposal. According to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the coal industry is currently responsible for a whopping 52,800 jobs in the United States alone.
Using coal as an energy source has little environmental impact.
Coal gets a bad rap, but few know that this resource can be mined and burned with little environmental impact, especially considering the recent improvements in environmental responsibility and the arising clean coal technologies. For instance, with CSS technology, harmful carbon dioxide can be captured and stored before it can reach the atmosphere. Coal can also be made cleaner through a liquefaction process which converts the resource into material that burns cleaner and reduces emissions.
Coal is an abundant resource.
According to recent data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the demonstrated reserve base (DRB) of coal contains approximately 475 billion short tons, with over 253 billion of these deemed recoverable. Over one-fourth of the world’s supply of known coal reserves are located in the United States. Furthermore, coal reserves are found in over 70 countries across the globe, and all of these reserves are anticipated to outlast those of oil and gas.
Coal has been fueling American lives since the onset of the Industrial Revolution and continues to be a major staple in energy production to this day. Coal is not only an abundant resource—it’s an extremely cost-effective and reliable solution to electricity generation that also has the added benefit of sustaining tens of thousands of jobs across the country. It’s easy to see why coal has been and continues to be such a beloved resource for fueling the energy needs of millions of Americans.