Wednesday, August 8, 2007

More Coal Factoids

More on Coal from the Pew Center on Global Climate Change:

Coal plays a major role in meeting U.S. energy needs, and is likely to continue to do so in coming decades.

* Coal can provide usable energy at a cost of between $1 and $2 per MMBtu compared to $6 to $12 per MMBtu for oil and natural gas, and coal prices are relatively stable.

* Coal is inherently higher-polluting and more carbon-intensive than other energy alternatives.

* 50 percent of the electricity generated in the United States is from coal.

* U.S. coal-fired plants have over 300 GW of capacity. Of these, approximately one-third date from 1970 or earlier, and most of the rest from 1970-1989. Only 12 coal-fired plants have been built in the United States since 1990.

* Steep and volatile natural gas prices and high nuclear power costs have led to an estimated 130 new coal-fired plants now on the drawing boards

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