Modern energy sectors worldwide are particularly concerned with the use of exhaustive fuels as energy sources due to the growing environmental issues. Therefore, coal extraction, among other natural resources like gas or oil, is thought unsustainable. At the same time, coal remains a major source of power in the USA, providing accessible and sufficient energy. Given the ambiguity in the discussion of coal power, the advantages and disadvantages of coal-fired power plants in the future are discussed in this paper.
Disadvantages of Coal Power as a Future Energy Source
In the context of the increasing relevance of shifting to the green economy and renewable energy source use, the continued demand for coal power is perceived as a significant setback. Some argue that coal plants should be closed due to the high level of pollution they produce into the air, water, and soil, thus causing health problems for humanity (“Moving beyond coal to clean energy,” 2022). With the advancement of clean energy policies worldwide, coal energy will have no future.
Advantages of Coal Power as a Future Energy Source
Nonetheless, since one of the coal industry’s core drawbacks is pollution, eliminating it using technologies will allow for achieving sustainability. Thus, reducing CO2 emissions produced by coal-fired power plants will encourage coal consumption in the future (Brognaux et al., 2018). Furthermore, on a global scale, coal remains affordable and accessible for most developing countries, which will continue consuming it in the nearest future. Therefore, since the demand is expected to remain stable, coal-fired power plants will continue functioning. Even if green policies obstruct this industry’s operations, less resilient companies will withdraw while “those with a higher risk tolerance may look for distressed asset opportunities” (Brognaux et al., 2018, para. 4). In such a manner, the omnipresence of coal in the global energy industry, its accessibility, cost-effectiveness, and the opportunity for reducing environmental harm make it plausible that coal power will remain in demand in the future.
In summation, the review of advantages and disadvantages of coal-fired power plants demonstrates that their functioning is harmful to the environment yet demanded by the global community. Green energy is cleaner but more challenging to implement and is costly. Thus, despite its disadvantages related to environmental impact in comparison to green energy, coal will remain in demand in the future due to its cost-effectiveness and availability for developing countries.
Brognaux, C., Boudier, E., Möncks, T., & Gerecs, M. (2018). Why coal will keep burning. Web.
Moving beyond coal to clean energy. (2022). Sierra Club. Web.