Despite the growth of various industries all over the world, there remains the problem of energy poverty, where people from different countries have no access to electricity, despite this being an integral part in the production and growth of an economy.
The World Bank estimates that one-third of the world’s economies experience energy crises, and 1.1 billion people do not have access to electricity.
Coal is perhaps the most widely-used source of energy all over the world, and has contributed to the developments in the Industrial Revolution. It plays a big part in the energy mix of various economies. However, its contribution to carbon pollution remains to a problem, resulting in calls for energy efficiency and cleaner technology.
The World Coal Association said that coal provided electricity for over a billion people all over the world and that the industry has created seven million jobs.
Developing economies who are still trying to find their footing in providing energy for the majority of its population are resorting to using coal-fired power plants to produce energy because it’s cheaper and easier to find.
In 2015, India was the world’s third largest coal importer, with the majority of its energy demand being met by coal-fired power plants.
However, renewable and sustainable energy are slowly gaining their place in the world’s energy mix as it derives power from many sources including solar, wind, hydro, geothermal and biomass.
Because the world cannot simply quit using coal, and because fossil fuels have the potential to play an important role in the energy mix, especially in supplying power during peak demand, there is a need to implement drastic measures to achieve clean and efficient energy.
The World Coal Association said that coal has had major breakthroughs in its efficiency, “improved combustion efficiency and reduced emissions, coal gasification, new approaches to carbon capture and storage, and the production of hydrogen from coal, which will play a part in the transition to a hydrogen-based energy future.”
Coal is learning to stay relevant in the midst of the changes in the energy sector, with its main goal being to completely eliminate its emissions while still remaining as one of the world’s main sources of energy.