The truth behind the coal power plants of China
Today, China provides its huge energy requirements of mostly coal. This is a very inexpensive way to supply your industries, but far from the most responsible to earth. Now we are questioning our increasing standard of living. We also wonder if the dangerous and risky life in the coal mines is fair.
Our standard of living
In China, recent investigations from 2011 show that the coal power plants represent 70 % of all the energy consumption in the country. The same researches have also shown that of all the coal produced in the world China uses up almost half of it alone. Although these numbers seem chocking, the coal is one of aspects which are making the economy of China so dominant and powerful. China has indeed a large amount of coal resources, which they take advantage of in their massive industries.
Energy is required for all sorts of productions, and if the energy costs are low the prizes of the products can remain low too. But in the end this low prize has to be paid, which eventually results in a bad environment filled with pollution.
The industrial and economical success of China has influenced the world in many ways, not to mention Europe. Our living standard has been strongly improved, and the number of products on the market has greatly increased as a consequence of China’s growth.
The picture you usually have of our cheap articles in Europe is this: The massive productions take place in the vast amount of factories in China. After that, the articles are transported all the way to Europe. Then you are free to choose among a high offer of articles that you can purchase for a quite low prize.
But let’s look at this from another point of
view: When you are buying articles from China, you’re not only supporting their unnatural and dirty factories, but you actually contribute to a worse environment. Without the energy needed no products can be created. In other words, when we make a profit here in Sweden, we encourage the Chinese to continue their usage of mineral fuels, especially their coal power plants.
However, China needs to change this bad habit of producing products, which they in a matter of fact are doing right now. At the same time, we in Europe have a responsibility to reduce are consumption. If we don’t, it will for sure affect our future generations.
Today the most in Sweden live beyond theirs means. With a growing population on earth, this won’t last in the future. Our resources need to be provided more equally among the humans.
We cannot only live in the present; we need to, for the greater good, think one step ahead before we act, otherwise our actions today will affect our children tomorrow.
Consequences of the increased greenhouse effect
The massive emissions of carbon dioxide in China are in many ways catastrophically, especially for the animals on earth. When the temperature rises numerous animals are in danger of being extinguished, since they are not used to these huge climate variations.
When the increasing amount of carbon dioxide reacts with the water in the oceans, it forms carbonic acid, making the water acidly. This is devastating for the organisms living in the water. Furthermore, the oceans are also warming up, which, like the carbon dioxide, affect the animals bad too.
The life in the coal power plants
The life in the Chinese coal power plants are
very though and exhausting. Every time the workers step down into the mines, they are risking their lives. Coal dust, for example, is very dangerous to the lungs and it can pose a big health hazard. The poor workers can get chalicosis, which in most cases leads to death in only a matter of years. Landslides are also common, not mention ingesting toxic gases. Explosions aren’t rare either, only in 2010 more then 2400 people died in the Chinese coal mines. Therefore, the Chinese coal mines are called, not astonishingly, the most dangerous in the world.
The conditions in the Chinese coal mines aren’t human. Since the frequent injuries, deaths and illnesses, China has to develop and improve the rules.
Hopefully the day will come when the economy of China won’t be depending on the coal. Because that day will, without any doubts, make earth a better place to live.
A summary of the picture above
Tons of coal are transported from a mine to a coal power plant. Then the coal are grinded before the combustion is started. The heat generated from the combustion turns liquid water into steam. After that, the pressure from the steam starts rotating a turbine. This kinetic energy from the turbine is easily converted to electricity, which later on can be used to supply other industries.
You should now reduce the amount of dust, sulphur and other pollutants in the gas produced at the combustion. Though, in some cases, you avoid this in order to decrease the expenses, which occurs in China. There are also many coal power plants in China that are old and inefficient, since an upgrade would be far too expensive.
The sources of this information:
- ”Vanliga och ovanliga energikällor”