Clean Energy 101

October 5, 2011 | By | Reply More

If you want a good starting point for learning the facts about clean energy, The Union of Concerned Scientists is offering an excellent resource, “Clean Energy 101.” If you’d like to learn about the pollution caused by coal plants, and how sustainable energy would cut this pollution, check the article called “Benefits of Renewable Energy.”

A Typical Coal PlantA typical 500-megawatt coal plant produces 3.5 billion kilowatt-hours per year — enough to power a city of about 140,000 people.
It burns 1.4 million tons of coal (the equivalent of 40 train cars of coal each day) and uses 2.2 billion gallons of water each year. In an average year, this one plant also generates the following:

10,000 tons of sulfur dioxide
10,200 tons of nitrogen oxide, equivalent to half a million late-model cars
3.7 million tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to cutting down 100 million trees
500 tons of small particles
220 tons of hydrocarbons
720 tons of carbon monoxide
125,000 tons of ash and 193,000 tons of sludge from the smokestack scrubber
170 pounds of mercury, 225 pounds of arsenic, 114 pounds of lead, 4 pounds of cadmium, and other toxic heavy metals
Trace amounts of uranium

Here are each of the main topics covered:

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Category: Energy, Sustainable Living

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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