Don’t Be So Fast to Count Coal Out
Coal still supplies 20 percent of the electricity generated in South Carolina, about 30 percent nationally, and it remains the dominant fuel globally for power generation, at 40 percent. But lurking in the background are efforts to keep it in the ground.
Although coal is the mainstay for large parts of the South and Midwest, it is being replaced elsewhere by low-cost natural gas. Given the abundance of gas, which produces half the carbon emissions of coal, it seems that coal’s days are numbered, at least n the United States. But don’t count coal out. It might still do some good in the world.
Concerned about the consequences of climate change, scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are trying to develop a technique to turn carbon emissions from coal plants into petrochemicals and plastics. If they succeed, they will find a global market eager to adopt such potentially innovative technology.
Over the years, advances in clean coal burning in the United States have resulted in dramatic declines in sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate emissions. That’s why we never hear much anymore about acid rain.
See the article here.
- On March 26, 2018