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Energy Resource Paper

1078 words - 5 pages

Power is something we use everyday. From our cars to our houses, even turning on the light takes electrical power that we get mainly from fossil fuels
The formation of coal takes millions of years to form. Formed from vegetation from about 400 million years ago, 300 million years ago, the world was covered with swamps and when the plants and trees died, they fell to the bottom of the swamp and with time it became peat. As the world is constantly changing, the peat gets buried underground, then the sandstone and various other sedimentary rocks form over the peat. The pressure and the weight of the rock pushed the peat farther into the earth, then eventually became coal. It is estimated that every three to seven feet of the compacted plant matter is needed to only make one foot of bituminous coal (KET, 2013).
Coal is used because it is the cheapest source of energy we can fine. Even though it is running out it is a very stable source of energy. Mining coal provides many jobs for people. We also use it because it is estimated that it will last long enough for us to find an alternative energy source (Mining Internet Sources, 2007).
Trains transport the coal to a power plant, once there, the train drops pea-sized chunks of coal into silos and at the bottom of each silo is a pulverizer that grinds up the coal into a powder consistency. Then large fans blow the powder into a boiler, the coal then fuels a fireball that can reach up to three thousand degrees Fahrenheit. Steam pipes inside the boiler contain purified water. The heat turns the water into steam and is sent over a turbine through a series of pipes. Then the turbines are connected to a generator ad the turbine powers it, creating electrical power (CPS Energy, 2013).
In 2009 the National Resource Council estimated the “hidden” or unknown cost of coal combustion is $62 billion in the US (Ground Truth, 2010). In 2011, the sales price of coal was $42.01 per a ton (Energy Information Administration, 2012). In 2011, the cost of coal actually was about $500 billion. The state of Illinois found that mining coal in their state cost about $20 million (Ground Truth, 2010).
Coal is a nonrenewable resource, meaning it takes millions of years to form. We are getting lower and lower amounts of coal every day, in 2012 the produced 6.8 billion tons of coal. It is estimated that we have a one hundred year supply of bituminous coal, 457 year supply of sub-bituminous coal, and 171 year supply of lignite (River Basin Energy, N/A).

Hydroelectric Power
Electricity is used every day for everything. We use electricity to charge our phones, turn on the lights, and to mass produce various foods. As time goes on, the earth’s population grows and as the population grows so does the need for this form of energy, but it’s getting harder to find the cheap nonrenewable resources that we are used to having. This lack of chap and easy to get resources has the world looking for clean renewable way to make the electrical...

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