The Advantages of Coal: Exploring a Controversial Energy Source

Coal is without a doubt one of the most controversial energy sources in the world. Its use has been the subject of much debate due to its negative impact on the environment and public health.


However, we cannot deny the fact that coal has played a significant role in shaping our modern society and powering our economies. In this article, we will explore the advantages of coal and why it remains an important part of our global energy mix.

Definition of Coal

For those who might not know, coal is a fossil fuel that was formed millions of years ago from decayed plants and animals. It is made up mainly of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and sulfur.

It is typically found in underground mines or open-pit mines. There are different types of coal based on their quality or rank.

The highest quality coal is anthracite, followed by bituminous coal, sub-bituminous coal, and lignite. Each type has different properties that affect its performance and how it can be used as an energy source.

Importance of Coal in the Global Energy Mix

Despite growing concerns about climate change and air pollution from burning fossil fuels like coal, it continues to be an important source of energy worldwide. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), global demand for coal has increased by 70% since 2000. One reason for this increase is that many countries still rely heavily on coal to generate electricity because it is cheap and abundant.

In fact, around 38% of electricity worldwide comes from burning coal. Coal also plays a crucial role in industries such as steel production and cement manufacturing which require large amounts of heat generated from burning fossil fuels like coal.

Furthermore, many developing countries still lack access to affordable energy sources like natural gas or renewable energy technologies. Coal provides a reliable source of electricity at a lower cost, helping to bring energy access to millions of people worldwide.

Coal remains an important part of our global energy mix due to its affordability and reliability. While it is not without its environmental and health impacts, it will continue to play a significant role in our economies until we find viable alternatives that can meet the world’s energy demands.

Advantages of Coal

Cost-Effective Energy Source

Coal is the most cost-effective energy source available today. It is cheap and abundant, making it an ideal choice for countries looking to provide affordable energy to millions of people worldwide. Unlike other forms of energy such as oil and gas, coal reserves are located in many parts of the world, reducing supply chain risk and ensuring consistent pricing.

Furthermore, coal-fired power plants can produce electricity at a much lower cost compared to other sources such as natural gas or nuclear power. This makes it an attractive option for developing countries that need reliable access to electricity but have limited financial resources.


Another advantage of coal is its reliability. Coal-fired power plants can operate 24/7, providing a stable source of electricity that can be relied upon by households and businesses alike. Unlike renewable sources such as wind or solar power which are intermittent, coal can ensure a constant stream of energy.

Coal can also be stored for long periods without losing quality. This means that even during times when demand for electricity is low, coal-fired plants can continue operating at full capacity in preparation for higher demand.

Job Creation

Coal mining and processing provide employment opportunities for thousands of people worldwide. The industry employs skilled and unskilled workers alike, providing entry-level jobs to those seeking employment in remote regions where other industries are limited.

In addition to creating new jobs, the coal industry supports local economies where it is mined. The money generated from mining activities helps support small businesses in nearby towns while also contributing taxes to local governments.

Energy Security

Another key advantage of coal is its role in enhancing national security by reducing dependence on foreign oil and gas imports. Many countries rely heavily on imported fossil fuels to meet their energy needs, making them vulnerable to changes in global supply and demand or political instability.

Coal provides a reliable source of energy during times of crisis or natural disasters. Unlike other forms of energy, coal reserves are located within national borders, making it less susceptible to disruption from external forces.

The Bottom Line

The advantages of coal cannot be ignored. It is a cost-effective, reliable and abundant source of energy that provides much-needed employment opportunities for thousands of people worldwide. Furthermore, it enhances national security by reducing dependence on foreign oil and gas imports while providing a stable source of electricity during times of crisis.

While some may argue that the environmental impact of coal outweighs its benefits, advancements in clean coal technology have made significant strides in reducing emissions from coal-fired power plants. Therefore, it is important to recognize the value that coal brings to our global energy mix.

Environmental Advantages

It’s no secret that coal has a bad reputation when it comes to the environment. However, Clean Coal Technology (CCT) has been developed to drastically reduce emissions from coal-fired power plants.

Thanks to CCT, emissions can be reduced by up to 90% – that’s a significant improvement! Furthermore, CCT not only reduces emissions but also helps mitigate the impact on the environment.

For instance, it utilizes advanced technologies such as scrubbers and filters that trap pollutants before they are released into the atmosphere. The technology also enables carbon capture and storage (CCS), which captures carbon dioxide emissions before they are released and stores them underground.

While critics argue that CCT is expensive and not widely available, it is important to note that coal-fired power plants are still responsible for supplying roughly one-third of global electricity. Therefore, any efforts made toward clean coal technology will have a substantial impact on reducing harmful environmental footprints across the globe.

Clean Coal Technology: A Necessary Step Forward

In light of recent conversations about climate change and human impact on the environment, clean coal technology represents an important step forward in reducing our carbon footprint while continuing to meet our energy needs.

Renewable Energy Complement

Some argue that renewable energy sources such as wind or solar power can replace traditional energy sources like coal completely. While this may be true in some cases, there is no guarantee of consistent supply with renewable energy sources since their production is heavily reliant on natural circumstances such as sunlight or wind levels.

This is where coal comes into play – it can be used as a complement to renewable energy sources like wind or solar power. Coal-fired power plants provide stability when renewable sources are intermittent due to weather conditions or other external factors.

Furthermore, combining renewable energy with coal-fired plants allows for greater flexibility in meeting peak electricity demands while simultaneously minimizing environmental impact. It is this complementary relationship that can help us achieve a balance between meeting energy demands and protecting the environment.

The Complementary Relationship: Coal and Renewable Energy

The use of coal as a complement to renewable energy sources is not only practical but also necessary as we move towards a more sustainable future. By utilizing multiple sources of energy, we can tackle the issue of climate change while ensuring that people have access to reliable and affordable electricity.

It’s time to set aside our biases against coal and recognize its importance in the global energy mix as well as its potential for mitigating environmental damage. With the development of Clean Coal Technology and its use as a complement to renewable energy sources, it’s clear that coal has an important role to play in meeting our current and future energy needs while minimizing environmental impact.


Overall, coal is a valuable energy source that has numerous advantages. It is cheap, abundant, reliable, and supports job creation in areas where it is mined. Additionally, using coal reduces dependence on foreign oil and gas imports while providing a reliable source of energy during times of crisis or natural disasters.

Furthermore, the environmental advantages of clean coal technology and its ability to complement renewable energy sources make it an even more attractive option for meeting global energy needs. While there are certainly some downsides to coal use such as air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, we can work to mitigate these impacts through continued advancements in clean coal technology.


The advantages of coal are vast and cannot be ignored. From its cost-effectiveness to its reliability and job-creating potential, coal is an important part of the global energy mix.

Clean coal technology offers the opportunity to reduce emissions from coal-fired power plants by up to 90% while also making it a complementary resource for renewable energy sources like wind and solar power. Despite some negative perceptions about its impact on the environment, we cannot deny that we need reliable sources of affordable electricity to meet our everyday needs.

Coal provides such a solution that can be used alongside newer technologies as they continue to evolve. It’s important for us all to recognize the potential benefits that come with using this readily available resource.

With continued investment in research and development towards clean energy technologies like carbon capture storage (CCS) or high-efficiency low-emission (HELE) power plants – we can make strides towards utilizing cleaner forms of fossil fuel while still enjoying all the economic benefits afforded by traditional fuels like natural gas or oil. So let’s embrace all available resources – including coal – as we work together towards building a more sustainable future for ourselves and generations yet unborn.

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