Quitting coal
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Quitting Coal. Renewable Energy Solutions. In an average year, a typical coal plant generates: . 3,700,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), the primary human cause of global warming--as much carbon dioxide as cutting down 161 million trees.

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Quitting coal

Quitting Coal

Renewable Energy Solutions

In an average year a typical coal plant generates
In an average year, a typical coal plant generates:

  • 3,700,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), the primary human cause of global warming--as much carbon dioxide as cutting down 161 million trees.

  • 10,000 tons of sulfur dioxide (SO2), which causes acid rain that damages forests, lakes, and buildings, and forms small airborne particles that can penetrate deep into lungs.

  • 500 tons of small airborne particles, which can cause chronic bronchitis, aggravated asthma, and premature death, as well as haze obstructing visibility.

  • 10,200 tons of nitrogen oxide (NOx), as much as would be emitted by half a million late-model cars. NOx leads to formation of ozone (smog) which inflames the lungs, burning through lung tissue making people more susceptible to respiratory illness.

  • 720 tons of carbon monoxide (CO), which causes headaches and place additional stress on people with heart disease.

  • 220 tons of hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds (VOC), which form ozone.

  • 170 pounds of mercury, where just 1/70th of a teaspoon deposited on a 25-acre lake can make the fish unsafe to eat.

  • 225 pounds of arsenic, which will cause cancer in one out of 100 people who drink water containing 50 parts per billion.

  • 114 pounds of lead, 4 pounds of cadmium, other toxic heavy metals, and trace amounts of uranium.

Burning coal is a leading cause of smog acid rain global warming and air toxics
Burning coal is a leading cause of smog, acid rain, global warming, and air toxics.

Coal accounts for 25% of global energy consumption, but generates 39% of the CO2 emissions.

Coal consumption has grown 30% since 2002, twice as fast as any other energy source. Two-thirds of this is “steam coal,” used to produce electricity.

By 2050, the coal industry projects that U.S. demands will double from the current 1.13 billion short tons (2005).

Coal life cycle hazards
Coal Life Cycle Hazards warming, and air

Underground miningIn the 1990s over 15,000 former U.S. miners died from coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (black lung disease)Accidents and fatalities: 3,800 - 6,000 deaths annually in China

32 miners died in the US in 2008 alone.

Strip mining/mountain top removalLess expensive than underground mining; one plant can produce 200 tons of coal/day.

The impacts include:Stream-bed silting, Water contamination with carcinogens and heavymetals associated with cancer clusters, Coal waste disposal and slurry impoundments.Degraded valley

Health concerns
Health Concerns warming, and air

Coal-burning releases particulates, nitrates, sulfates and, in the U.S. alone, approximately 48 tons of the neurotoxin mercury each year.

Fine particle pollution from U.S. power plants, principally coal plants, cuts short the lives of nearly 24,000 people each year, including 2,800 from lung cancer.

It is responsible for 38,200 non-fatal heart attacks and tens of thousands of emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and lost work days.

Pollution from coal-fired plants in the U.S. Northeast is linked to over 43,000 asthma attacks, 300,000 episodes of upper respiratory illness, and 100 premature deaths annually.

The risk of death for people living within 30 miles of coal-fired plants is three-to-four times that of people living at a distance.

Coal in utah
Coal in Utah warming, and air

Coal is the Utah State Rock

Over 95% of the electricity generated in Utah comes from coal.

In 2005 Minerals Management Service (MMS) reports that the coal produced in that year had a total sales value of over $432.7 million and generated royalty revenues in excess of $27.8 million.

In 2006, 82595 people were employed by coal mining companies. 47475 of which worked under ground.

Coal burning is a major influence in Utah’s poor air quality.

Getting what we need from somewhere else
Getting what we need, from somewhere else. warming, and air

Hydroelectric Biomass Biofuel Geothermal Solar Wind

Solar energy
Solar Energy warming, and air

  • Provided by incident solar radiation.

  • It can be used for the generation of electricity using solar photovoltaic panels, and solar thermal energy.

  • This energy is ideal in areas of intense sun, such as deserts.

  • Solar energy is dependent only on the availability of solar energy and is therefore reliable for large expanses of the globe.

  • Solar photovoltaic energy can be stored by charging batteries or other systems, while solar thermal energy can be stored in masonry or circulating water and can therefore be used for some time after the sun becomes temporarily unavailable.

Hydroelectric warming, and air

  • Hydroelectric power is energy created and captured when allowing water to move downhill.

  • Water at higher elevations has more potential energy due to gravity and falling water is used to turn a turbine and generator which creates electrical energy.

  • Dams are the most common types of Hydroelectric facilities, but have become controversial over the years.

  • Other types of Hydroelectric energy sources include, tidal energy, wave energy, micro hydro energy, and current or stream energy.

  • Five countries rely on hydroelectricity for more than half of their electric power: Brazil, Canada, Norway, Switzerland, and Venezuela.

  • Paraguay derives 100% of its energy from hydroelectricity.

Geothermal warming, and air

  • The simpler geothermal heat pump involves drilling wells into the Earth until achieving a constant temperature of about 55 degrees.

  • The other system is far more complex, and potentially could be utilized across the entire world.

  • Iceland is the biggest user of this form of geothermal energy. About 50% of its energy needs are met through geothermal energy.

  • It does not rely on weather events to provide power, and that it can be done at any time, unlike solar and wind.

Biofuel warming, and air

  • Biomass energy is obtained by burning organic material in the form of Ethanol (biofuel), pellets, and gasification. Ethanol or biofuel can be made of different plant products, most commonly corn and sugar cane, but also grasses such as switch grass.

  • Ethanol is different from all of the other renewable energy sources because it is liquid. This makes ethanol particularly relevant to the energy sector because it could replace oil as fuel for cars and other machinery that rely on oil. Ethanol is made from plant sugars, which is why corn and sugar cane are most commonly used in the research and development of ethanol.

  • In order to produce biomass energy, plant residue can be co-fired with coal to produce electricity. Biofuels have the potential to achieve carbon neutrality as a fuel source. The carbon dioxide that is emitted is taken out of the atmosphere by plant growth but some is then returned as it is burned. In the United States and other developed countries, biomass pellets are the most commercial form of burning biomass.

Wind warming, and air

  • Wind energy uses wind turbines to convert mechanical energy through the movement of wind into electrical energy by spinning a turbine and generator.

  • Turbines are placed to maximize the efficiency of turning the blades. Wind energy depends on wind produced through changing weather patterns.

  • When placed in high wind locations, wind farms can capture great quantities of energy and is being implemented in many places to offset fossil energy used, as with solar and hydroelectric energy.

  • The top countries who derive the most wind power to meet their energy needs are the Denmark (19.1%), Portugal (11.3%), and Spain (11.1%).

  • The countries with the highest wind power capacity are United States, Germany, and China. One challenge facing wind power is vigorous community resistance to placing turbines nearby.

Utah and alternative energy
Utah and Alternative Energy warming, and air

  • Utah rates in the top 5 States for the use of Geothermal energy.

  • Hydro electric energy supplies about 3% of electricity for the state of Utah.

  • Projects using micro hydro energy are underway in Park City.

  • Utah has the technical potential to contribute nearly 2500 Megawatts of wind – this excludes sensitive lands, national parks, and areas unsuited for wind development (i.e. the top of Mt. Timpanogos). This amount of wind would provide enough energy for over 660,000 average Utah homes and yield a net economic benefit of approximately $2.7 billion and over 1,110 long term jobs.

Conclusion warming, and air

  • Quitting coal is not only important for our environment, but it is also important for our health and the health of our future generations.

  • Coal is non-renewable and supplies are limited, while consumption continues to rise.

  • The solution to quitting coal is to implement and invest in renewable non polluting energy sources, that will provide energy without limitations, or environmental consequences.