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Can the Coal Industry Still Compete with the Natural Gas?

coal The rivalry between coal and natural gas burns on. China remains the world’s largest consumer of coal, with annual investment increasing by roughly 50 percent, with the United States and India close behind.

 

The U.S. leads the way in natural gas consumption alongside Russia, Canada and Iran. In 2012, natural gas accounted for nearly 45 percent of U.S. electricity, a significant increase from 16 percent in 2000. As stricter environmental policies take effect, more countries are pursuing natural gas over coal.

 

So, Why the Shift?

Harmful emissions and the dangers of mining have leaders viewing coal less as an energy source and more as an unwanted surprise in a holiday stocking. Mine collapses and respiratory diseases have claimed the lives of over 100,000 coal miners in the past decade. Coal power plants release immense amounts of air pollution, greenhouse gases and mercury. Mountains are even blasted apart to uncover coal deposits, causing permanent damage to the landscape. On the other hand, natural gas is cleaner, safer and, in many countries like the United States, cheaper than coal. Easy choice, right?

 

As much as environmentalists would like to let sleeping coal lie, the down and dirty fossil fuel still accounts for about 40 percent of the electricity generated around the world. And natural gas isn’t without its faults.

 

The high-pressure ‘fracking’ process used to extract natural gas from shale rock formations consumes large amounts of water and potentially harmful fracking fluid.

 

Many argue that this process pollutes groundwater. In addition, weather has a huge impact on natural gas prices worldwide. It isn’t uncommon to see prices skyrocket following a hurricane at a concentrated site.

 

The Future

Regardless of what the future holds, coal remains the primary source of electricity generation for much of the world. If your company seeks a better approach to coal mining, GK machinery can help. GK machinery gives you the power, efficiency and durability you need to tackle the toughest coal mining projects. Most importantly, GK vibrating equipment is designed with safety in mind. Factors such as the target material, processing speed and process type will determine which GK vibrating machine is right for you.

 

To find out more about which type of vibrating equipment best fits your coal mining needs, visit General Kinematics. Save time and money and get greater peace of mind on your next project.

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