For millions of years, a layer of dead plants at the bottom of the swamps was covered by layers of water and dirt, trapping the energy of the dead plants. <br />The heat and pressure from the top layers helped the plant remains turn into what we today call coal.<br />
Where does coal come from?<br />Coal takes millions of years for the earth to create. <br />It is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock composed mostly of carbon and hydrocarbons. <br />It is the most abundant fossil fuel produced in the United States<br />
Coal is how old?<br /><ul><li>The first documentation of coal was in 1748
Coal & Employment<br />Coal is the main source of our energy needs in the United States so of course, it employees a lot of people.<br />Coal mines alone employee over 82,000 people. <br />Coal-fired plants employee over 60,000 people<br />Coal Transportation including train, car, and barge employees over 30,000 people<br />
Clean Coal Technologies<br /><ul><li>Coal is by far one of the dirtiest energy resources available in the United States.
Coal is as clean as it possibly can be today by what is called “Clean Coal Technologies”.
Clean Coal Technology seeks to reduce harsh effects on the environment with various techniques. </li></li></ul><li>Solar Energy<br />Solar energy is energy that is obtained from the suns rays.<br />This energy can be converted into different energy like heat and electricity.<br />Heat can be used to heat water or heat spaces. For example heating for houses, buildings, or even swimming pools.<br />Solar energy is converted in two ways:<br />Photovoltaic (PV devices) or “solar cells” which changes sunlight directly into electricity.<br />Concentrating Solar Power Plants generate electricity by using the heat from solar thermal collectors to heat a fluid which produces steam that is used to power the generator. <br />
Downfall of solar energy<br />Solar is definitely a cleaner source for our environment but it has some drawbacks to it.<br />Reliability: The amount of sunlight that reaches the earth is not received in constant amounts. It is determined by location, time of day, time of year and the weather.<br />Surface Area: Since the amount of sunlight available isn't constant, the amount of surface area needed to collect the energy is very large.<br />
My Coal & Solar Theory<br />My theory about coal and solar working as one is very simple and would benefit several people. We live our life with different types of everything, for example cars, homes, jobs, and personalities, so why would everyone have to use the same type of energy. <br />I do understand that coal is dirty but it is the most reliable source of the two. My theory is that we should be able to pick our source of energy and if we run out of coal, sure we can use all solar but I do not feel that we should eliminate one or the other.<br />
Special Thanks To:<br />And several other coal mining support groups for keeping my lights on. <br />