Is coal an efficient fuel for power plants?

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    Coal is a very cheap source of energy for many countries. Coal produces 54% of the electricity in the United States and 41% of the electricity around the world. As far as efficiency, coal has a lot of room for improvement. Hans-Dieter Shilling reports that the average efficiency of coal fired power plants is only 31% leaving substantial room for improvement.

    Another major problem with coal power is the air pollution caused by burning coal. Coal fired power plants are one of the biggest producer worldwide of greenhouse gas emissions. There are also large concerns associated with the waste from coal power plants. This waste is often stored in holding ponds. Spills from these ponds have been reported and have caused catastrophic effects to the local communities.

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