Mostly because it’s everywhere, and it’s relatively cheap compared to other fossil fuels such as natural gas. At the moment, it costs less than developing new, renewable energy sources on a wide enough scale to meet current energy demands.
Coal has been a good fuel for power plants because it is cheap and readily available. Burning coal for the production of energy is an efficient process, and since it has been accepted for decades, most power plants are already capable of working with coal. However, the pollution emitted from coal burning power plants make it a poor overall choice for power plants as compared to renewable energy sources.
Coal is often used as a fuel for power plants because it is considered a cheap source of fuel and the United States has an enormous reserve of coal. The U.S. has about 275 billion tons of coal reserves, which is more than any other country. Based on current consumption rates this is enough coal to meet the domestic needs of the U.S. for the next 250 years. While coal is considered a cheap source of fuel, the environmental damage caused by coal mining and combustion is not factored into the price. If it was factored in, it would make coal much more expensive and make renewable energy sources much more competitive in price.
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