Jul

04

Future of Power Generation – Solar or Coal Fired Power plants?

In physics, the law of conservation of energy states – ‘energy can neither be created nor be destroyed’; rather, it only transforms from one form to another. The world’s largest economy the USA is the 2nd biggest user of electricity in the world behind Canada. But still, it is largely dependent for its electricity needs on fossil fuels. Almost 33 percent of the power is generated by coal firing as per the government reports published in the year 2016.

There had been a lot of emphasis across the globe on the usage of renewable energy and especially using solar power for power generation instead of fossil fuels. A recent survey by agencies shows that the power generation from solar energy will be a very cost effective alternative option and will be adopted by most of the world very soon, say by the year 2040. This will not only help our mother earth to reduce pollution but also the global warming effect the world is afraid of! But this kind of paradigm shift is certainly going to drastically hamstring the coal industry.

The recent study conducted by the Bloomberg New Energy Finance shows, the coal-fired power plants electricity generation in the USA is likely to be reduced to half of the present capacity by the year 2040, whereas in the Europe, it is expected to drop to 87 percent. This kind of drops in coal-fired power station and the then shift to solar power plants are driven due to the fall in the average price of electricity generation from solar energy, as the cost per kWh power generated from solar is expected to decline by almost 66 percent by 2020. Not only solar but even the cost of power generation from wind energy is also expected to drop 47 percent due to technological advancements.

The renewable energy sources can never displace coal or other fossil fuels from power generation because they are nature dependent and sometimes unreliable too. Especially when it comes to generating power during emergency needs and the base load factor comes in picture. But all in all, the coal industry in this sector may come in doldrums soon!

Comment
  1. Good informative article. The solar energy is though present in less quantity in winters, yet would be more preferred. It is right that in emergencies other power solutions do play a vital role but if we consider the nature degradation due to CO2, solar driven power plants would be of prime importance.

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