Coal-fired Power Plants

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Coal fired power plants play a huge role in the United State's production of electricity.

Contents

The Basics

Coal is crushed into a very fine powder. The powder is burned and the heat is piped at high pressure over a turbine, causing it to rotate, producing electricity. Coal can not be reproduced after it is burned therefore it can not be considered a renewable energy source. Coal costs less than any of the other fossil fuels. Coal’s share of total world energy use climbed from 25 percent in 2003 to 26 percent in 2004 and is expected to increase to 28 percent by 2030. The world’s largest producers and consumers of coal are China, Poland, Russia, India and the United States.

Coal fired powerplants.jpg

Improvements

In 2006 the U.S Department of Energy started an improvement project for the coal plants. in 2006 coal plants produced 36 percent of the United States Carbon dioxide emissions, so something needed to be done. Carbon Capture Technology is the newest development in making coal plants cleaner.

United State's Consumption

57% of electricity in the United States comes from Coal Fired Power Plants. The following table presents the amount of coal that is used for electricity in each state.

State % of coal used for electricity price of electricity in cents per kilo watt hour
Alabama 52.4 7.4
Alaska 9.4 13.28
Arizona 36.4 8.54
Arkansas 47.2 6.96
California 1.1 12.8
Colorado 66.7 7.76
Connecticut 11.3 16.45
Delaware 65.9 11.35
Florida 30.1 10.33
Georgia 62.2 7.86
Hawaii 13.7 21.29
Idaho 0.7 5.07
Illinois 47.6 8.46
Indiana 94 6.5
Iowa 76.3 6.83
Kansas 72.3 6.84
Kentucky 93.1 5.84
Louisiana 24.9 8.39
Maine 2.3 14.59
Maryland 59.2 11.5
Massachusetts 25.5 15.16
Michigan 59.4 8.53
Minnesota 59.1 7.44
Mississippi 34.8 8.03
Missouri 82.4 6.56
Montana 63.4 7.13
Nebraska 60.5 6.28
Nevada 21.7 9.99
New Hampshire 16.9 13.98
New Jersey 16.3 13.01
New Mexico 7.44 76.7
New York 14.7 15.22
North Carolina 61.5 7.83
North Dakota 93.4 6.42
Ohio 85.8 7.91
Oklahoma 47.3 7.29
Oregon 7.9 7.02
Pennslyvania 54.3 9.08
Rhode Island 0 13.12
South Carolina 40.2 7.18
South Dakota 43.3 6.89
Tennessee 63.3 7.07
Texas 36.3 10.11
Utah 81.9 6.41
Vermont 0 12.04
Virginia 45.2 7.12
Washington 8 6.37
West Virginia 97.8 5.34
Wisconsin 63.1 8.48
Wyoming 94.5 5.29

References

America's Power - DOE Coal Info