As new rules emerge and changes are made by the U.S. government regarding governing of carbon emissions, the coal industry and coal producing states both have conflicting opinions with the White House when analyzing the state of carbon emissions and how changes will be implemented.
Many argue, according to an article by Data Center Dynamics, that the administration’s degrees on carbon emissions can actually have some unintended consequences.
While the government and EPA tote that the average consumer can save an exponential amount based on the changes, which include replacing coal with renewable energy resources, coal industry websites point out how additional rules need to be before that goal can come to fruition.
At the same time, both the coal industry and various governmental agencies are focusing on the impact on the average consumer rather than the business consumer of energy. “With power cost being a significant amount of the OPEX costs for any data center, policies that increase the cost of energy in the US stand to have a significant impact on business,” the article explains.
According to the US Energy Information Administration 2014 report, total power generation in the US stood at approximately 4,093 billion kilowatt/hours. Two-thirds of that power was generated by fossil fuels; 39 percent of it from coal fired power plants. See the full breakdown here:
§ Coal = 39 percent
§ Natural gas = 27 percent
§ Nuclear = 19 percent
§ Hydropower = 6 percent
§ Other renewables = 7 percent
o Biomass = 1.7 percent
o Geothermal = 0.4 percent
o Solar = 0.4 percent
o Wind = 4.4 percent
§ Petroleum = 1 percent
§ Other gases < 1 percent
The Clean Power Plan that the government is proposing will require coal burning power plants to reduce carbon emissions to no more than 1000 pounds of carbon per megawatt hour by 2030, a number that can’t be achieved with current commercial technologies, the article explains.