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Coal Use


Most coal mined in the United States is burned to make electricity. About one billion tons per year (See Electricity Production). Most people do not realize that when they use electricity, they are probably also using coal. Of the coal that is not used to make electricity, most is used to make steam for heating, as coke in steel making, or is exported. In developing countries half the world's population depends on coal for heat.

Trade Associations:

Investor owned utilities: Edison Electric Institute
Municipal government utilities: American Public Power Association
Rural electric cooperatives: National Rural Electric Cooperative Association
Independent power producers: Electric Power Supply Association
Power plant boiler makers: American Boiler Manufacturing Association.

Yahoo Sites:

Electric utilities
Construction companies: power plants
Electric power engineering companies


Burning of coal is regulated under many federal and state air quality, water quality, and waste disposal regulations.

Government information:

US Department of Energy, including especially the following:
1. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
2. Energy Information Administration (home page)
3. Office of Fossil Energy
4. Coal and Electric Power programs, including the Clean Coal Technology Compendium that contains data generated by the Clean Coal Technology Program..

Trade periodicals:

Competitive Utility -- policy analysis.
Electricity Daily -- general news.
Electricity Journal -- policy analysis.
Power Engineering -- construction, operation and maintenance of power plants. Free to qualified readers.
Electric Light and Power -- general news, some technical. Free to qualified readers.
Independent Energy -- independent power projects and related developments. Free to qualified readers.

Other sources:
Cookstoves for the Developing World --Half the World's population of nearly six billion people prepare their food and heat their homes with coal. By: Daniel M. Kammen, Princeton University.
Electric Power Research Institute conducts contract research for utilities, but has some public information.
Institute of Power Engineers - Canadian Association of Power Engineers, founded in 1940.
National Association of Power Engineers - dedicated to the continuing education of its members.
Virtual tour of a coal-fired electric power plant by Virginia Electric Power Company.

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