Coal Vs. Other Energy Sources
About half the electricity used in the United States as of 2010 comes from coal-fired plants, according to the U.S. Department of Power. Coal, like oil and gas, is a fossil fuel, formed from plants and animals that lived 300 million years ago. However coal is only one choice for power generation, and every option has advantages and disadvantages.
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The United States has plentiful supplies of coal, making it a cheap and readily available vitality source. New technology makes burning coal cleaner than ever, based on the U.S. Department of Energy.
Burning coal produces greenhouse gasses, which contribute to world warning. Carbon monoxide, sulfur and different compounds in coal smoke pollute the air. Mining coal requires digging tunnels or widespread clearing of land, changing the looks and contributing to soil and water pollution. Coal mining is a harmful occupation; by September 1 of 2010, the United States Department of Labor stories that 43 people had died in coal mining accidents.
OIl and Gas
Together with coal, oil and fuel provide much of the fuel to heat houses and generate power within the United States. As well as oil and gasoline energy automobiles, trucks, buses, trains and airplanes. Plentiful provides of petroleum make it relatively inexpensive, petroleum could be converted into many products, from plastics and fertilizers to fuel.
Like coal, oil and gasoline are fossil fuels which produce hydrocarbons and different pollutants when burned to generate power. Drilling for the oil and gasoline and operating the wells may produce pollution. Accidents, reminiscent of properly blowouts and gasoline fires, can endanger the lives of workers and residents near the wells. Lastly, like all fossil fuels, the supplies of oil and gasoline are finite.
Whenever the sun shines, solar power is offered. Photovoltaic cells convert photo voltaic energy to electricity, whereas you should utilize radiant solar to heat water and cook meals. Photo voltaic doesn’t pollute and, according to the United States Department of Power, photovoltaic methods, as soon free petrochemical magazine as in place, require little upkeep.
Solar electricity solely works when the sun shines, so cloudy areas of the nation will generate much less electricity. Solar energy systems must have batteries to store energy to be used at night time and on cloudy days. These batteries are costly and include mercury and other chemicals that make disposing of the batteries after they now not function troublesome. The U.S. Division of Vitality experiences that in most parts of the nation, photo voltaic vitality still prices more than other forms of energy.
In areas the place the wind blows, there’s an unlimited potential to provide wind vitality. Wind power doesn’t pollute, and you do not should import it from one other nation or transport it over long distances.
Not every location produces high enough winds to generate energy, so the usage of wind power is restricted to coastlines, plains and different high-wind areas. In keeping with the U.S. Division of energy, the excessive cost of constructing the infrastructure mandatory for wind energy production — turbines and generators — presents the chief challenge to extensive-spread use of wind power. Wind turbines will be noisy, and so they present a hazard to birds, which can fly into the wind turbine rotors.
Producing power from the circulation of water — hydroelectric power — could also be one of many oldest methods of power generation, in accordance with the U.S. Geologic Survey. The U.S.G.S. studies hydroelectric plants are economical to operate and dependable. They produce very little pollution.
You may only benefit from hydroelectric power the place you may have flowing water. Constructing hydroelectric plants requires damming rivers and streams. This development alters the course of the waterway and can impression fish and wildlife habitat. In some areas, properties need to be relocated to make method for power plants. The plants also require a big investment to build.
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