Climate change is one of the key issues in energy production, and abandoning coal as a source for energy is one of the main strategies to “go green” and avoid global warming. Here are 14 facts about coal energy that you might find surprising:
In April 2017, Britain went a full day without coal power. This was the first time that coal power hadn’t been used for 24 hours since the Industrial Revolution! This was due to a very large amount of wind and low electricity demand, meaning the National Grid was able to rely on just gas, nuclear and renewables within those 24 hours.
The grid has gone coal-free several times in the past, but never a full day. The previous longest period achieved was 19 hours, back in May 2016.
It is said to be believed that coal-free days will become increasingly common as Britain shifts away from carbon fuels. By 2025, the last coal power station will be forced to close as the Government phases out the most polluting fossil fuel to meet climate change commitments by replacing it with cleaner sources, such as gas.
Britain opened its first coal-fired power station in 1882 and coal remained a dominant part of the energy world until the 1990s.
The use of coal power stations has fallen recently, as plants closed down or switched to biomass and only accounted for 9% of the electricity generated in 2016.
Coal-fired power plants have been a reliable source of energy for many decades as they are affordable, accessible and well understood.
Coal produces higher amounts of carbon emissions than any other form of electricity generation.
Coal-fired electricity generation is a five-step process. Thermal coal is pulverised, then burned. The resulting heat turns water into steam. Very high pressured steam spins a turbine. The turbine is connected to an electrical generator that produces electricity for the grid.
Coal is the least expensive of all the fossil-fuel sources for its energy content.
Coal is composed primarily of carbon and different quantities of other elements like hydrogen, sulfur, oxygen, and nitrogen.
Worldwide, there are an estimated 892 billion tonnes of coal reserves.
Coal can be found in almost every country worldwide, but is only recoverable in ca. 70 countries. The USA, Russia, China and India have the biggest reserves.
Depending on the type of coal, the carbon content is 25-97%.
If you are considering to use green energy for your business premises or even participate in renewable energy production, get in touch with us and we can talk you through your options.