Coal is directly connected with greenhouse gas emissions, so it is no surprise that science and technology are on the lookout for new clean coal technologies. These new technologies involve ways in which to burn coal, without it adding extensively to the global carbon dioxide levels. At the moment, coal usage produces approximately 9 billion tones of carbon dioxide annually. Energy experts hope that these new clean coal technologies will help to successfully address this problem. The most promising of these “clean coal technologies” may be what is known as “carbon capture and storage technology”. While this technology is available, it has not yet been developed to cope with the scale required in coal-burning power plants. But this could change in the future.
In comparing other fossil fuels with coal (such as oil and natural gas) coal certainly has the most widely distributed reserves. It is mined in over 100 countries and is found on all continents, with the exception of theAntarctica. South Africa has one of the world’s largest reserves!
Despite having a negative impact, this energy source remains the most used energy source in the world. It is the cheapest energy option for many countries. It looks likely that it shall continue to be the dominant energy source for the next few decades and so great hope is being put into the developing “clean coal technologies”.