Contemporary Issues In Business

Read Complete Research Material


Contemporary Issues in Business

Table of Contents


Purpose of the Report2

Main Findings and Analysis3

Coal Fired Power Plants3

The UK Scenario5

Nuclear-Fired Power Generation6

The UK Scenario8

Wind Turbine9

The UK Scenario11

Other Renewable Sources of Energy12




Contemporary Issues in Business


Since the onset of the industrial revolution (c.1750), human activities have altered the atmospheric composition of the Earth, significantly impacting the terrestrial energy balance. The burning of fossil fuels has substantially increased the amount of particulate matter and concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs), most notably carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O), into the atmosphere. The overall impact of human industrial activities on global climate has been a pronounced warming effect, as GHG increases have enhanced the atmospheric greenhouse effect and reduced the amount of outgoing radiation from the Earth. Although global climate change occurs with natural process (e.g., volcanic eruptions, insulation variability), the rate of change is much slower, occurring over millennia rather than the rapid anthropogenic induced climate changes observed over the past century with the modern industrial era. Global climate change impact scenarios have sparked an international debate on policy initiatives for balancing global climate change reduction measures with continued industrial development. (Hardy, 2003)

Purpose of the Report

I have been recently hired as climate change/energy consultant by UK department of Renewal Energy; I am required to produce a report that examines the wider implications and issues in the context of future UK climate change/energy directives. (Word Count: 200)

Main Findings and Analysis

Coal Fired Power Plants

Coal is an important energy source, with most of its consumption used for electricity generation, But coal production and use has many negative environmental effects, including—as with all fossil fuels—contributing to climate change from emissions of CO2, methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O).

Coal is the most important fuel of electricity generation, reaching 41 percent of the world's fuel mix and being a major component of the steel and cement industries contributes to 26 percent of the world's primary energy supply. Poland and South Africa are the countries relying the most (93 percent) on coal for their electricity generation. The United States gets about 50 percent of its primary electricity from coal. This varies by year depending on natural gas prices. It normally takes almost five years to build a coal-fired power plant and approximately one year to decommission it; and its lifespan does not exceed 30-40 years. Coal-fired power plants normally handle base load demand because they are less flexible than gas-fired power plants. There are several different types of coal based on chemical characteristics; however, the most important ones for electricity generation are brown coal (lignite) and hard coal. Brown coal is considered of lower quality, mainly due to its lower heat content and often higher content of sulphur and humidity. However, both are used extensively for large-scale electricity generation and in several countries where the reserves of high-quality hard coal are gradually being exploited, brown coal is used increasingly. (Smil, 2008, p. 206- 09)

Although coal-fired power plants are today necessary for a secure supply of electricity, they, ...
Related Ads