How is coal used to produce energy?

Why is coal a good source of energy?

Cheapest source of energy. It is by far cheaper than nuclear, natural gas, oil. … Coal also provides a stable source of energy (no Arab oil embargoes, no sudden scarcity like you experience with natural gas) and there is a very plentiful supply both in the U.S. and in other foreign countries.

Is coal still being formed?

Coal is very old. The formation of coal spans the geologic ages and is still being formed today, just very slowly. Below, a coal slab shows the footprints of a dinosaur (the footprints where made during the peat stage but were preserved during the coalification process).

How old is most coal?

Coal deposits are known to have formed more than 400 million years ago. Most anthracite and bituminous coals occur within the 299- to 359.2-million-year-old strata of the Carboniferous Period, the so-called first coal age.

Why is coal so important?

It lights houses, buildings, and streets; provides domestic and industrial heat; and powers most equipment and machinery used in homes, offices and factories. Coal is the most abundant source of electricity worldwide, currently providing more than 36% of global electricity.

For what purpose coal is used?

Although coal use was once common in the industrial, transportation, residential, and commercial sectors, today the main use of coal in the United States is to generate electricity. The electric power sector has accounted for the majority of U.S. coal consumption since 1961.

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