Why are Coal-Powered Power Stations harmful to the Environment?

posted in: General 0

Why are coal-powered power stations harmful to the environment?

Fossil fuels are indeed the top fuels used all over the world for generating power and electricity. Among the fossil fuels, coal is the most widely used fuel in power plants. Coal-fired power plants boiler use different kinds of machinery that convert heat energy produced from combustion into mechanical energy. Coal, gas, and oil are fossil fuels responsible for most of the world’s electricity and energy demands. Coal, which is readily available in most of the developing and developed world, has been used as a major source of fuel even in ancient human civilizations. It also found its use in historic steam engines at the dawn of the industrial revolution.

There are many advantages to coal power stations like Reliability, Affordability, Safety, etc. but as much as coal is reliable and affordable how safe is it?

The major disadvantage of coal is its negative impact on the environment. Coal-burning energy plants are a major source of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to carbon monoxide and heavy metals like mercury, the use of coal releases sulfur dioxide, a harmful substance linked to acid rain.

Air pollution from coal power stations causes disease and kills thousands of South Africans every year, says UK expert. Air pollution from coal-fired power stations kills more than 2,200 South Africans every year and causes thousands of cases of bronchitis and asthma in adults and children annually.

In 2016 these were the statistics that were provided by Dr Holland to the Department of Environmental Affairs and to members of the Environmental Affairs and Health Portfolio Committees

2 239 deaths per year: 157 from lung cancer; 1 110 from ischaemic heart disease; 73 from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease;719 from strokes; and 180 from a lower respiratory infection
2 781 cases of chronic bronchitis per year in adults
9 533 cases of bronchitis per year in children aged 6 to 12
2 379 hospital admissions per year
3 972 902 days of restricted activity per year
94 680 days of asthma symptoms per year in children aged 5 to 19
996 628 lost working days per year
All these statistics and yet the Minister of Mineral Resources unveiled the long-awaited Integrated Resource Plan, saying “coal will continue to play a significant role in electricity generation. This is a 10-year plan which includes increasing the country’s current 47,000 megawatts of energy by 1,500 megawatts from coal, 2,500 megawatts from hydro, 6,000 megawatts from solar and 14,400 megawatts from wind. Mantashe said coal would contribute 59% of the country’s energy, as “the country has the resource in abundance” and coal-fired power plants “are going to be around for a long time.”

For clean fresh air, we must say no to coal. It continues to fuel climate change, supercharge extreme weather events, poison our air and consumes precious freshwater.

Sources:
Phys
LinkedIn
The Guardian
CER


To view more Articles, please visit our Leads 2 Business Blog.
If you are interested in becoming one of our subscribers, please visit Leads 2 Business.
To view notes with screenshots on how to use our website, please visit Leads 2 Business Wiki.

About Nazeema Shelembe

I am a content researcher who just started with Leads 2 Business in February this year, I work in the Daily Tenders South Africa department. I am a young vibrant lady who enjoys meeting new people and doing new things. I welcome challenges and always find new ways of doing things. I am a mum and I love spending time with my not so little, very talkative son.

Ways to Reduce your Carbon Footprint

Carbon Footprint

What is a Carbon Footprint?

 

A Carbon Footprint is defined by the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) released into the atmosphere as a result of the activities of a particular individual, organisation, or community.

When researching the ways to reduce your Carbon Footprint there were endless articles, so many in fact I nearly got lost in the green of it all. Let’s break it down.

10 Ways to Reduce your Carbon Footprint:

  1. Plant a Tree – A classic and for good reason. Trees provide shade and oxygen while consuming carbon dioxide. [tweetthis]One 10-year-old tree releases enough oxygen into the air to support 2 human beings.[/tweetthis]
  2. Energy Efficient Appliances – Look for the energy rating when purchasing appliances. The current South African label gives a rating from A down to G; with A being the best for refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines and electric ovens. For most appliances, insist on an A-rated appliance, they are not difficult to find. (Old refrigerators in your house may be the inefficient equal of a G-rated fridge.) In addition to the letter rating, the label should carry an energy consumption number in kilowatt hours. It is often more useful to compare this number between models than to compare the letter rating.
  3. Switch Off – Turn off the lights when you leave a room. Turn off your computer when not in use, a computer that is off uses at least 65% less energy than one left on screensaver/standby. [tweetthis]Did you know that many electronic devices continue using energy even when off? This is known as Phantom Power.[/tweetthis] Unplug electronic devices when not in use.
  4. Drive Smart – Go for a hybrid when purchasing a new car and if you aren’t going to be doing that anytime soon make sure you keep your current vehicle properly maintained. Carpool if you can, the benefits are obvious. One car uses less fuel than two and much less than three. If you can’t carpool, stick to the following Carbon minimising tips: Don’t idle, travel light, accelerate smoothly, limit air-con use, warm up your car and plan ahead.
  5. Use CFL’s and LED’s – That’s Compact Fluorescent Lamps or Light Emitting Diodes. CFL’s use 75% less energy than an incandescent and last up to 10 times longer. LED’s are also extremely energy efficient; although not widely in use due to their cost, there is no question that LED’s are poised to supersede CFL’s in the future.
  6. Local is Lekker – Purchasing foods that are both in season and grown locally can drastically cut down the carbon emissions of the vehicles used to transport that food. The same concept goes for other goods and services as well as not to mention, you will be supporting the local economy too.
  7. Go Digital – There has been a lot of debate regarding the environmental costs of digital vs. print. The best policy to adopt is, “be mindful”. If you subscribe to a print paper, be sure to recycle your paper every day. If you prefer online news chose an unplugged laptop or e-reader, rather than a plugged-in device for the majority of your browsing time.
  8. Shower Power – [tweetthis]Taking a shower uses about 1/5 of the energy as taking a bath.[/tweetthis] You can also install a “low flow” shower head to limit the amount of water being used and take shorter showers.
  9. Recycle – Recycling reduces the amount of waste sent to rubbish dumps and incinerators; prevents pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials; saves energy; reduces greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change; helps sustain the environment for future generations and helps create new jobs. Once you get in the habit of separating your cans, plastic, glass, paper and cardboard, it’s as easy as pie.
  10. Compost & Grow – It makes sense that what nourishes us from the earth should go back to nourishing the earth. Plant your own herbs and veggies. Not only does growing your own food make you a more conscientious global citizen, it brings you a sense of satisfaction.

 

Long story short, the more pollution that we let into the atmosphere, the worse it is for the environment. No matter what your view is on climate change these tips can save you money. Most of them don’t take that much time or effort and at the end of the month you may notice less coming out of the bank account which is a plus at any rate.

Why not start by calculating your Carbon Footprint here

 

 

Reuse Reduce Recycle
Reuse Reduce Recycle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

https://www.carbonfund.org/reduce

http://cotap.org/reduce-carbon-footprint/

http://www.carbonfootprint.com/minimisecfp.html

http://www.davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/reduce-your-carbon-footprint/drive-smarter-for-a-better-planet/

About Sasha Anderson

Millennial Mom + wife living the hash-tag life