Coal is still the largest source of fuel for the generation of electricity in the world, and is primarily used as a solid fuel to produce electricity and heat through combustion.
World coal consumption is about 6.2 billion tons annually. China produced 2.38 billion tons in 2006 and India produced about 447.3 million tons in 2006. 68.7% of China's electricity comes from coal. When coal is used for electricity generation, it is usually pulverized and then burned in a furnace with a boiler. The furnace heat converts boiler water to steam, which is then used to spin turbines which turn generators and create electricity.
About 40% of the world's electricity comes from coal. Coal is not only used for elektricity but also for making steel. Approximately 13% (around 717Mt) of total hard coal production is currently used by the steel industry and almost 70% of total global steel production is dependent on coal.
Coal power plants:
The biggest coal power plant in the world is the coal power plant in Taichung in Taiwan. This coal power plant has an capacity of 5834 MW/hr. Among coal fired power plants, it is the largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world. The eight units at Taichung have a total estimated coal requirement of around 12 million tonnes of bituminous and 2.5 million tonnes of sub-bituminous coal a year.
With an capacity of 4954 MW the coal power plant in Poryong South Korea is the second biggest in the world. The third biggest is the coal power plant in Kendal in South africa wit a capacity of 4374 MW. The coal power plant in Belchatow Poland with a capacity of 4340 MW is the fourth largest coal power plant in the world. This coal power plant is situated near one of the biggest open pit coal mines in the world:
Other coal power plants among the 10 biggest in the world are: The coal power plant in Majuba in South Africa with a capacity of 4110 MW, The 4108 MW castle peak coal power plant near Hong Kong, the Drax coal power plant in England with a capacity of 4065MW:
The Gras 2 coal power plant in Ekibastuz in Kazachstan which has the highest flue gast stack ( 419.7m ) in the world:
And last but not least the coal power plant Nanticoke in Canada with a capacity of 3984 MW which is the biggest coal power plant in North America.