Electricity from coal power is definitely not compatible with modern environmental thinking. Coal power plants release huge amounts of carbon dioxide and help to poison the planet.
Coal power is one of the real culprits behind the climate crisis. And the conversion that strives for renewable energy sources is largely just about stopping using coal power.
Despite this, there are still many coal power plants that continue to spread bulging smoke pillars high up in the sky every day. To understand why coal-fired power plants are bad, you also need to understand what coal-fired power plants are and how they generate electricity. Therefore, in this article, I intended to offer a closer insight into the dirty energy of coal power.
This is how coal-fired power plants work
Coal power plants are not surprisingly operated by coal, mainly coal but also coal in other countries. In the coal power plant, coal is fired to generate heat.
But it is not heat you want, but pure electricity. Therefore, the heat from the fired coal is used to heat water in large tanks. When the water gets hot it starts to evaporate.
The steam contains movement energy which in turn drives a so-called steam turbine. The steam transfers the motion energy to the steam turbine, which thus begins to move. The steam turbine movement drives a generator that creates electricity. In this way, the energy stored in coal is converted into electricity, stored in a more accessible form.
When coal power was launched, of course, they had no idea of its negative impact on the environment and nature. But now we know that when the coal is fired, not only energy is released, but also sulfur oxide and the carbon dioxide that the plants once used in photosynthesis to bind the energy from the sunlight.
Now the bound carbon dioxide is spread back into nature and contributes to the greenhouse effect. The problem with the sulfur dioxide, however, is not the greenhouse effect, but instead, it gets stuck in water and falls back to the ground as acidic and toxic rain and contributes to acidification of lakes and soil. Coal power is thus a dirty energy source that is not environmentally friendly.
Coal power today
Although coal power is so poor for the environment, a large proportion of the world’s energy continues to come from coal-fired power plants. Sometimes in Germany, coal-fired power plants that burn lignite are the energy source that covers the largest share of the country’s energy needs.
As much as 24.6 percent of Germany’s energy comes from combustion of lignite. However, it should be noted that, in addition to the conversion to renewable energy sources, enormous resources are also being invested in improving coal power and reducing emissions from coal power plants.
And you have achieved decent results. The coal-fired plants that burn coal today emit much less carbon dioxide and other toxic substances than the old coal-fired power stations did. They are also working on the so-called CCS technology, which is supposed to make the coal power completely emission-free.