The United States of America population growth is slowing down. Nonetheless, there are approximately 300 million inhabitants in North America consuming natural resources in an attempt to heat their homes and workplaces, provide electricity, travel to and from work, and exist in a sanitary environment.
Ninety-nine percent of the U.S. population use electricity in their daily lives. Coal fueled power plants throughout the U.S. burn coal to produce electricity for the growing public.
Coal Ash Dangers
In order to help alleviate the growing public concern and eliminate hazardous gases from polluting air and water quality these coal fueled power plants attempt to capture the pollutants, such as mercury, arsenic, and lead by converting them into “coal ash.”
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) keeps records of coal-ash disposal sites. However, the EPA data confirms that coal ash is gathered up, dispersed, and disposed into approximately 1,300, non-regulated, coal-ash disposal sites.
Coal ash contains hazardous materials dangerous, and potentially fatal to all forms of life. Ultimately, coal is dirty to the touch, smell, and taste; there is no cleanliness in coal.
Renewable Resource Alternatives
Alternatives to burning coal comprise of using perpetual and renewable resources. This concept falls into the category of using technology to find a solution to our environmental dilemma and will decrease our ecological footprint on Planet Earth.
Coal ash may potentially seep into our air and waters, contaminating ponds, killing fish and wildlife, and poisoning our fertile soil. On the other hand, wind is a natural and renewable form of energy presently used to provide electricity to millions of U.S. citizens.
Wind power is also recognized as a vital alternative to using carbon based products such as coal. Presently, the U.S. Department of Energy is working on a Wind Program to help make using wind power more cost effective in respect to fossil fuels.
As an alternative form of energy, wind is considered a perpetual resource,
Wind is generated because of the sun’s rays changing the atmospheric conditions on Earth resulting in kinetic energy, much cleaner than burning coal, a nonrenewable resource.
According to the American Wind Energy Association, wind turbines used to produce energy throughout parts of the U.S are capable of producing the following:
“A 5-megawatt turbine can produce more than 15 million kilowatts in a year–enough to power more than 1, 400 households.”
The combination of the sun and wind, and technological advances in harnessing these forms of energy are, in my opinion, challenging and rewarding alternatives to our present day form of energy production and utilization.