Coal has dominated the world energy scenario since the Eighteenth century, up to 1970 and in 2011 it accounts for approximately 28.8% of the primary consumption of energy (Source: International Energy Agency (IEA) – Key World Energy Statistics 2013). In the years between 2003 and 2006, it is estimated that coal demand increased almost 67%; China accounted for 73% and if we also consider India, the percentage rises to 82%. China is the leading producer and consumer in the world: in 2012 coal consumption in China amounts to 1873.39 million toe per year, with a production of  1800 million toe per year (Source:BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2013).
The greatest limit of coal is that it is the most polluting source of energy and it negatively affects the state of the climate. When compared to natural gas, production of one kilowatt-hour of electricity from coal generates  more than twice the amount of nitrogen oxide, eight times the amount of heavy metals, ten times the amount of fine dust, and it also produces a large amount of sulphur oxides. 40% of the world emissions of carbon dioxide per year, generated from the combustion of fossil sources is from coal: 67% is generated from its use in the  thermoelectric sector and 23% from coal  burnt in China and in the United States.

subjects dealt with in Coal

energia_400x225_0068_conoscere il carbone

Coal knowledge

Coal is a fossil fuel just like oil and natural gas. Unlike them, coal is a solid fuel and as…

energia_400x225_0067_dall'estrazione all'utilizzo

Extraction and distribution

The set of operations leading to the identification of coalfields and to their assessment is called mining prospecting. As with…

energia_400x225_0070_ambiente e territorio

Environment and territory

In certain production sectors coal is still an important energy source. At present 39% of the world-wide electric energy output…

special reports

  • 23 October 2013 / Air

    Carbon Footprint

    CO2 emissions and lifestyles If your parents decide to buy a new car, they might be attracted by a car…

    13 May 2013 / Earth

    Small steps, great footprints

    Which one takes up more space, an apple or a steak? Have you ever wondered how much space is taken…

    7 September 2011 / Energy

    Ten years of oil demand

    World oil demand The International Energy Agency  (IEA) recently published the data of world oil demand in 2010. This gives…

  • 5 October 2011 / Energy

    The energy scenario in Italy

    The National Energy Balance Every year the Italian Ministry of Economic Development publishes the country's National Energy Balance. This gives…

    21 February 2013 / Energy

    Renewable energy in Italy

    Renewable energy sources in Italy The GSE (Gestore dei Servizi Energetici), the Italian energy services management authority, periodically publishes data…

    18 May 2011 / Energy

    Artificial photosynthesis

    Science is inspired by nature The history of science and technology is packed with discoveries and inventions inspired by nature.…

  • 10 January 2012 / Energy

    Shale gas

    The golden age of gas The International Energy Agency (IEA) is an international organisation that represents one of the points…

    15 September 2008 / Energy

    Natural gas

    Natural gas Natural gas has been the last fossil fuel to assert itself on a global scale. For over a…

    27 September 2012 / Life

    Over 7 billion people on Earth

    World population hits 7 billion Demographers have estimated that on 31 October 2011 world population reached the 7 billion mark,…

  • 23 October 2013 / Air

    Carbon Footprint

    CO2 emissions and lifestyles If your parents decide to buy a new car, they might be attracted by a car…

    13 May 2013 / Earth

    Small steps, great footprints

    Which one takes up more space, an apple or a steak? Have you ever wondered how much space is taken…

  • 7 September 2011 / Energy

    Ten years of oil demand

    World oil demand The International Energy Agency  (IEA) recently published the data of world oil demand in 2010. This gives…

    5 October 2011 / Energy

    The energy scenario in Italy

    The National Energy Balance Every year the Italian Ministry of Economic Development publishes the country's National Energy Balance. This gives…

  • 21 February 2013 / Energy

    Renewable energy in Italy

    Renewable energy sources in Italy The GSE (Gestore dei Servizi Energetici), the Italian energy services management authority, periodically publishes data…

    18 May 2011 / Energy

    Artificial photosynthesis

    Science is inspired by nature The history of science and technology is packed with discoveries and inventions inspired by nature.…

  • 23 October 2013 / Air

    Carbon Footprint

    CO2 emissions and lifestyles If your parents decide to buy a new car, they might be attracted by a car…

  • 13 May 2013 / Earth

    Small steps, great footprints

    Which one takes up more space, an apple or a steak? Have you ever wondered how much space is taken…

  • 7 September 2011 / Energy

    Ten years of oil demand

    World oil demand The International Energy Agency  (IEA) recently published the data of world oil demand in 2010. This gives…

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