Global coal energy crisis

April 18, 2023, 5:12 p.m.

The world's coal reserves amount to 1,000 billion tons. This means that at the current volumes of coal production there will be enough for another hundred years. However, this is not quite true.

Currently, many countries are already experiencing a shortage of natural gas. In this regard, they are increasing the demand for coal. After the end of the planet's oil and gas resources, coal will remain the only alternative. When there is no oil or gas left, the world will switch to the use of coal and then the pace of its reduction will accelerate significantly.

The world is close to a peak in fossil fuel use, with coal set to be the first to decline, but we are not there yet.

Coal-fired power has many disadvantages, such as the significant remoteness of mining sites from the main consumers.

Most coal mines are explosive. As a certain deposit is developed, the mines deepen greatly, which leads to the fact that new communications have to be laid, and then lengthen them. As a result, they lose their efficiency, and this in turn leads to a decrease in the mining capacity of a certain mine. A rather serious problem is that coal-mining plants have a limited period of operation, since the mines themselves serve for about 40 years, after which the enterprises are abandoned.

More serious problem is that the coal industry causes significant damage to the environment and is one of the most dangerous types of human activity.

The world’s three largest coal producers – China, India and Indonesia. And these countries suffer from environmental problems more than others.

The development of coal seams, and especially in the open method, has a negative impact on the environment:

subsidence of the earth's surface and soil erosion;
methane emissions from mines;
water and air pollution;
coal ignition in dumps and mines;
rejection of land plots for the storage of mining waste.

The coal industry has a negative impact on humans, increasing both congenital anomalies in children and cases of nervous and oncological diseases.

For all its shortcomings, coal-fired power currently occupies a significant share in the world's electricity generation.

Do you see any problems? What are your suggestions regarding coal power?