Why are Coal Power Plants Closing?

by Paresh Bramhane

Coal power plants have been facing severe backlash from the communities they operate in. Perhaps they have turned a blind eye to its devastating effects. However, some economies have intensified their coal energy production simply because the discontinuation would cost them significant financial loss. 

Preparation for Coal Excavation

The coal extraction process begins with the clearing of land. The preparation of land involves deforestation and blasting through the tough clay or stone layer to retrieve coal. A process called mountaintop removal literally blasts off a chunk of a mountain. Miners dig through layers of soil and earth. At the same time, the initial mining preparation completely uproots the wildlife inhabitants. 

You can imagine the level of destruction the blast carries. Not only is that, but the aftermath is even worse. The falling debris destroys animals and plants that the blast has catapulted. The lush green forest becomes barren fields with no one to hold accountable.

Toxic Fumes

Coal producing energy blasts are perhaps the most harmful to breathable air quality. Continuous emissions of soot and smoke from the power plant result in ever-present smog, acid rain, and toxic air. The surrounding air is filled with mercury, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, arsenic, and sulfur content. 

These harmful gasses are emitted regularly and have been well known to cause respiratory and skin diseases among miners. Many have succumbed to death because of severe cardiovascular issues from the decaying lung tissues. The animals also breathe in the same air, which leads to extinction.

Coal Dust

Continuing on the route of potent fumes, the cold dust is one of the deadliest results of generating power through coal. First of all, coal dust is microscopic and is easily breathed by animals. It can harm animals and humans alike. Coal dust also causes heart and respiratory problems and lowers the oxygen level in the air.

The coal dust also eliminates the ability of plants to photosynthesize. This results in the loss of precious plant life. The fields and surrounding lands ultimately become useless for vegetation and agricultural uses. The utility bidder must perform a detailed environmental analysis before deciding to set up a coal power plant.

Harmful to Marine Life

The coal particles present in the cold dust become oxidized. They become denser than the air particles and begin to settle on the water. Resultantly, it kills the oxygen present in marine life. The coal power plants present a trickle down effect where one disadvantage can completely ruin an entire supply chain.

Coal power installed also emits mercury. It is very harmful to fish. Moreover, the birds, mammals, and amphibians living in the surrounding areas also die from mercury poisoning. It harms reproductive organs and leads many species to extinction. 

The Final Thought

Coal power production has become outdated because of the growing demand for clean energy resources that use sun, wind, and water to create energy. Their preparation process is least harmful, with little to no impact on the human and animal civilizations. 

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