Monday, 9 August 2010

Climate Changes? 10 of the World’s Dirtiest Power Plants

Coal is the undisputed leader in dirty fuel sources. But beyond the issue of global warming/climate change (burning coal is the number one source of the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide), coal-fired power plants also release dangerously high levels of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury, arsenic, lead, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons into the atmosphere, creating environmental hazards both near the plants (i.e smog, respiratory complications, fouled water from coal-slurry impoundments), and far from the plants (i.e acid rain, mercury pollution in rivers and oceans, etc.). And that is only the burning of coal, to say nothing of the mining and transportation of it.

Generally speaking, the older the plant, the more polluting it is, but the type of coal burned also plays a significant role determining the amount of CO2, SO2 and other pollutants released into the atmosphere. That said, some coal plants are dirtier than others:

R. Gallagher – Indiana, USA

As one of the older plants on this list, Duke Energy’s Gallagher Generating Station is also one of the dirtiest. Located along the banks of the Ohio River in Floyd County, Indiana, Gallagher stores coal fly ash in ponds on the banks of the Ohio River. But the relatively small 600-megawatt Gallagher station made the list mostly because it emits 50,819 tons of sulfur dioxide (SO2) annually—a ratio of about 4o pounds per megawatt-hour—the highest of any plant in the United States.

Kraftwerk Niederaussem – Bergheim, Germany

Owned by Germany’s RWE Niederaussem is consistently one of the largest sources of CO2 in all of Europe. Even though the plant saw its emissions drop by 20 % to 24.9 million tons in 2008, the 3800 megawatt plant burns dirty and inefficient lignite (brown coal). Vast lignite mines in Germany, like the one pictured above, have swallowed entire villages and large swaths of fertile farmland.

Scherer Power Plant – Juliette, Georgia, USA

At 27 million tons of carbon dioxide annually, the Robert W. Scherer Power Plant is the single largest point-source of CO2 in the U.S.. Scherer is owned and operated by Georgia Power, which also owns the Bowen Plant. Scherer burns through an average of three train-loads of coal per day – coal hauled in from Wyoming’s Powder River Basin, 1,800 miles away. At any given time, BNSF has thirty-six different two-mile long coal trains somewhere on the ten-day roundtrip between Wyoming and Georgia.

Taichung Coal-Fired Power Plant – Lung-Ching, Taiwan

The 4130-megawatt Taichung power station is the world’s biggest CO2 emitter, with over 40 million tons produced in 2008. The CO2 emissions of the Taichung project roughly corresponds to the CO2 emissions of Switzerland.

Belchatow – Belchatow, Poland

Belchatow is arguably the largest coal-fired power plant in the world. Run by state-owned utility BOT Elektrownia, Belchatow emitted the most CO2 of any EU installation last year, pumping the equivalent of 34 million tons into the atmosphere; making it the second biggest coal-fired source of CO2 in the world.

Kendal Power Station – Mpumbulanga, South Africa

The 4116-megawatt Kendal facility in South Africa is the largest coal-fired power plant in the world. With an annual CO2 emissions of 26.8 millions tons, Kendal is the tenth biggest source of CO2 in the world.

Bowen – Bowen, Georgia, USA

Along with the Scherer Plant, which is also owned by Georgia Power, Plant Bowen is consistently one of the top three emitters of CO2 in the United States. In addition to the 24 million tons of CO2 it emits annually, Scherer is also one of the bigger sulfur dioxide sources, emitting 206,442 tons of SO2 annually (it should be noted that while the total amount of SO2 produced has a relatively low ratio of 18lb/MWh, as compared to Gallagher’s 40lb/MWh).

Hazelwood – Hazelwood, Victoria, Australia

The WWF referred to Hazelwood power station as “the most polluting of all power stations operating in the world’s major industrialised countries.” Scheduled to be decommissioned by 2009 due to the exceedingly high volume of CO2 emissions from burning brown coal, a 2005 decision by the Victorian Government will keep the plant operational until 2031.

Agios Dimitrios – Agios Dimitrios, Greece

In terms of CO2 per Megawatt-hour produced, the 1595-megawatt Agios Dimitrios power plant in Greece is the dirtiest power plant in Europe. The lignite-burning facility was at the top (or bottom) of WWF’s Dirty Thirty (Europe).

Drax – Selby, Yorkshire and the Humber, UK

Drax provides 7% of the electrical power required by Britain. Drax is actually the most carbon efficient coal-fired power plant in the UK, even though it generates around 1.5 million tons of ash and 22.8 million tons of carbon dioxide each year, which just goes to show, even the cleanest of coal-fired power plants are dirty.

2 коментара:

A person said...

I am not sure if you spend your days, watching the news and reading fashion magazines or something to that tune. I am uncertain if you spend your time studying atmospheric conditions or trying to find ways of determining what the air content was like 100 years ago.
All of that seems very irrelevant in my mind really when you do a moment of comparison. It wasn't until around 60 years ago that humans began to create any sort of measurable levels of CO2. On this note, we should point out that CO2 is a very vital part of existence, without it all vegetation would not perish, along with everything else on this planet.
Aside from those facts, you would be interested to learn that all of the exhales of all our species, and all of the burning of all of the fuels we have consumed are insignificant. They are so insignificant and so incredibly tiny that when the next volcano erupts, in the first -second- of it's eruption, it will have created more CO2 than we have in our existence as a species goes assume my knowledge of our history is accurate. This non-sense concerning climate change, global warming and green house gases is an incredible attempt to create fear mongering and terror in the hearts and minds of our species.
It wasn't more than 30 years ago, and this is still true today, that many scientests were screaming 'global cooling!'. Here is the cold hard truth. We have never been to the center of the Earth, we haven't any idea whats going on with the sun, and we don't have any serious history of measurements concerning the past million years on Earth. We have just barely stepped into the shadow that is science. This proclamation and pseudo science that so many use to scare others into thinking that their cars are going to burn them to death is absurd. Find yourself another hobby rboki. You understand as much about the 'climate' as you do about the stars, jack shit.

Logo Design Canada said...

Please stop all this its create a big problem in our world.
Stop polluted the world.The world is already in danger situation.


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