Frequent question: Why are we using coal in South Africa?

SA has abundant coal reserves. Coal-fired power stations are reliable. South Africa’s infrastructure to generate electricity from coal is well established. Burning coal is the most cost-effective and energy efficient way of generating electricity.

Why do we use coal today?

Coal is used primarily in the United States to generate electricity. In fact, it is burned in power plants to produce more than half of the electricity we use.

What is the main purpose of coal?

Coal is primarily used as fuel to generate electric power in the United States. In coal-fired power plants, bituminous coal, subbituminous coal, or lignite is burned. The heat produced by the combustion of the coal is used to convert water into high-pressure steam, which drives a turbine, which produces electricity.

Where does South Africa get its coal?

The majority of coal comes from the Witbank and Highveld coalfields, which together account for about 75% of South Africa’s production.

Why is coal bad for you?

Along with adding to greenhouse gas pollution, burning coal emits toxic and carcinogenic substances into our air, water and land, severely affecting the health of miners, workers and surrounding communities. … In India, coal kills about 169,000 people annually.

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What are the disadvantages of using coal?

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.

What are the 5 uses of coal?

Uses of coal

  • Electricity Generation. Power generation is the primary use for coal worldwide. …
  • Metal Production. Metallurgical (coking) coal is a key ingredient in steelmaking. …
  • Cement Production. Coal is used as a key energy source in cement production. …
  • Gasification and Liquefaction. …
  • Chemical Production. …
  • Other Industries.

What are the pros and cons of coal?

The Pros of Coal Energy

  • The availability of coal makes it very affordable. …
  • The energy infrastructure supports coal. …
  • The cost of coal is quite cheap. …
  • There is no lag time with coal energy. …
  • Clean coal technologies help to limit the emissions that are released. …
  • It can be converted into different forms of fuel.

How long will coal last in South Africa?

South Africa’s coal reserves are estimated at 53 billion tonnes, and with our present production rate there should be almost 200 years of coal supply left.

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