Coal energy systems that use steam turbine generators account for around 50% of the electricity that is produced in the United States.
Burning coal is also the most common fuel source for electric production in the entire world.
Coal energy electricity works in a similar way to nuclear power and concentrated solar power because coal is a fuel used to heat water into steam to be used in a steam turbine generator.
Coal is a fossil fuel, it is found in the ground of the earth and is extracted by mining.
Unfortunately coal releases harmful chemicals into the air when it is burned, and since it is so commonly used, it is also the leading fuel source to release harmful pollution into the atmosphere. Coal energy combustion releases more carbon dioxide into the air than anything else, including petroleum and natural gas.
Coal power plants use coal to eventually create electricity. Coal is used as a fuel to heat liquid water into high pressure steam. This steam is then used to turn the turbine of a steam turbine generator, which will create electricity from the power of steam, which was fueled by coal energy.
The efficiency of the coal power plant electric generation process has improved in efficiency over the years, making it a much cheaper source of electricity than using a renewable energy source.