How can coal be conserved?

1 Answer
Feb 24, 2016

More efficient technologies for burning coal for power generation would be the main way to conserve coal.


For example, older coal-fired technologies are only about 30-35% efficient. This means that 65% of the energy in the coal is wasted as heat and pollutants. More efficient coal technologies can increase this to 40-50% efficient range, but these come at a big cost.

Right now, both Canada and the U.S. and other countries in Europe have committed to phasing out the use of coal for power generation due to the large amount of CO2 they put out. However, countries like China and India still burn a lot of coal, and are looking closely at some of these more efficient technologies that would burn less coal per unit of power produced.

Another important factor is that natural gas in North America is now so cheap that many utilities are switching to this fuel source and so coal is no longer needed.