11 Aug Coal May Be the Most Expensive Fuel on the Planet
Studies reveal coal to be among the least expensive electricity-producing fuels.
At 4 to 6 cents per kilowatt-hour, who can argue? Solar is falling from accounts of 12 pennies (and up) per kWh into an estimated parity with fossil fuels, according to a study by Queen’s University. And wind power is becoming cheaper. There is also something I only discovered called atmospheric chilly megawatts technologies, however, I digress.
But coal and its fossil fuel compatriot natural gas and atomic still have the advantage since they are not determined by the planet’s rotation.
Boiled shoe concept
Coal accounts for over fifty percent of U.S. energy generation. It’s simple to transport, spark and burns warm. Fantastic stuff if you are a shivering Charlie Chaplin in his classic silent film”The Gold Rush” The crucial scene is where he eats his boiled shoe.
But coal extraction is now contentious. Mountaintop removal isn’t pretty. Additionally, the state’s 491 noodle plants provide an estimated 48 tons of mercury to the atmosphere every year. And addressing the leftover poisonous ash has proved hazardous. Just consider what occurred in the Emory River at Tennessee on Dec. 22, 2008, when 1.1 billion gallons of fly-ash slurry burst a containment lie enclosing an 84-acre pond.
Merry Christmas. It was the largest such spill from the country’s history. And there is possibly more where that came out. Wait around for an excellent 100-year rain. Visit CoMate here.
Few company fans of fossil fuels mention the ecological price of the favorite energy resources. Many prefer to shuffle which notion into the background. Until lately it has been restricted to the fringe — a rallying cry for just the most hardcore greenies.
Little by little, other bands and people are realizing we can not keep draining materials and get away Scott free. The agents in the Durban Climate Change Conference did not pass any binding agreements, but most did not mince words. Click here to get started.
Ban Ki-Moon, United Nations general-secretary, in a speech in the event says authorities and the private sector are working together on renewable energy and extolled it as a means to lower greenhouse gases while reducing poverty and generating economic development. “Let’s establish that we not only understand where we’re moving – and how to get there – but we are ready to take collective actions that can move us down the street,” he states.
Point of no return
Apisai Ielemia takes it further. Since the ministry of international affairs, tourism, trade, environment, and labor for the little Pacific island country of Tuvalu, he is well conscious of the possible danger behind climate change. “We don’t have any time to wait, and we’re just a couple inches from the stage of no return,” he states. Listen to his speech on Democracy Now.
As much as I like Americaspower.org’s current TV advertising effort, coal will not have severe drawbacks. Nothing about untold countless particles of germ billowing to the air every year from naturally-occurring electricity plants is cheap. The dust settles across the nation and U.S. oceans and operates its way to the food chain. Should user groups start to sue coal utilities and manufacturers for damage reimbursement, I envision the expense of electricity through the fossil fuel will grow significantly. See: Uses of Combustion Catalysts | Application of Catalytic Combustion
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this season has suggested the first federal criteria for arsenic, mercury and other toxic air pollution from power plants. The movement is supposed, officials say, to”cut harmful emissions of arsenic, mercury, nickel, chromium, and acid fumes, while avoiding as many as 17,000 premature deaths and 11,000 heart attacks per year.”
Health consequences from coal
The suggested criteria are supposed to stop 120,000 cases of childhood asthma symptoms and approximately 11,000 fewer instances of asthma among children every year, the EPA states. Additionally, the principles are expected to stop over 12,000 emergency room visits and hospital admissions and 850,000 days of work missed because of illness.
The 1990 Clean Air Act was designed to take care of coal emissions. The delay took over two decades. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued limitations on the total amount of mercury and other toxics chemicals dangling in the piles of largely coal-fired energy plants Dec. 22, 2011.
Dubbed the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, they are the very first federal regulations to be set in position and were vigorously opposed by the coal market. The criteria are supposed to protect individuals from arsenic, mercury, acid gas, nickel, selenium and cyanide, the EPA states.
“This really isn’t a matter of jobs versus the environment. It is a matter of the American public’s public health versus a narrow special attention,” writes New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg at a bit on Huffington Post. Bloomberg does state, but that over half coal plants currently have set up steps to restrain their mercury emissions.
Mercury that the neurotoxin
An October 2003 report from the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management on mercury emissions from naturally-occurring electricity plants states mercury is a”potent neurotoxin especially detrimental to the growth of the fetus, infant, and child.” And while coal-fired plants, as stated by the EPA, would be the biggest producer of mercury in the environment, they’re not the sole airborne mercury resource.
EPA’s December 1997″Mercury Study Report to Congress” quotes the total amount of mercury delivered up into U.S. airspace to become 158 tons. That is from garbage burning, natural and boilers emissions but from”combustion resources ” Quite a heap, along with also the majority heads out across the sea in regards in fish.
The Northern States report states the most rigorous standards for reducing mercury emissions could eliminate 96 percent in the piles of coal-fired energy plants whereas the least would eliminate only 40 percent. The report’s authors say it is a difference of two and 28 tons.
Solutions exist however they price
Some coal-fired electricity plants have been retrofit with poisonous emissions controls which would satisfy the most rigorous discounts, but for many others, it would be an issue. As an example, biggovernment.com states:”In some circumstances, these companies just can not afford to purchase the gear and for the others, the needed equipment is not commercially available. If this rule is executed, it might force the shut down of several coal-fired plants”
In accordance with a Government Accountability Office report by October 2009, several 14 plants using sorbent injection systems set up have complied,” allowing them to fulfill state or alternative germ emission requirements — normally 80 percent to 90 percent discounts “
The GAO also found that the 14 plants spent an average of $3.6 million over the systems –“that a fraction of the price of additional pollution control devices” The pollution-control systems injects sorbents — powdery materials to that mercury binds — to the exhaust to accomplish the cuts, the GAO states. Plus it states the yearly price of purchasing sorbents is roughly $675,000, nevertheless a small sum in comparison with the possible cost to individual health in the future.
Health prices larger
Someone pays for health consequences. Unfortunately, when it comes to mercury poisoning, U.S. taxpayers probably will need to pick up the tab.
It is merely a matter of time until these not-so-hidden prices start to be sensed and researched. There’ll be fallout.
And there’ll be an accounting of fossil fuels.
Questions will be requested. How far does gathered pollution price? Just how far does climate change price? How much can one fouled Gulf of Mexico price? Just how much does that inescapable Arctic Ocean spill price after a idiot Congress opens the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to massive drilling?