Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentPolitics · 2 years ago

Could coal become the new oil?

Oil will run out in 50 years, as estimated by British Petroleum, but coal will last another 150.

However, once we run out of oil, how will people power their cars? Electric cars? But how will we produce that electricity? Green energy isn't good enough to sustain a power grid for hundreds of millions of cars.

That means coal use would skyrocket. Maybe it'd become the new oil.

I think the 150 years estimate is a way over-estimate, because it assumes coal use will stay the same, but it will probably skyrocket once oil runs out.

7 Answers

  • Anonymous
    2 years ago

    Coal is on the way out as a source of electricity generation. The reason is that natural gas is just so much cheaper and cleaner. Coal isn't coming back for power generation.

  • 2 years ago

    Green energy is more than good enough to sustain a power grid for hundreds of millions of cars, because hydroelectric plants already produce more electricity at night than gets used, so a lot of it goes to waste (because almost everyone is sleeping and isn't using much electricity, and it's dark, so air conditioners don't have to work as hard). It could easily be used to charge electric car batteries, with plenty left over.

    By some estimates, having large numbers of electric cars would actually DECREASE (lower) or eliminate the amount of fossil fuel required by the electric power grid, because the cars could store energy when weather conditions are idle for green energy production (instead of letting it go to waste) and then feed it back into the grid when consumption exceeds green energy production (instead of using fossil fuels to make up the difference).

  • 2 years ago

    I hope not. It could, but then again, maybe it couldn't.

  • 2 years ago

    We've been hearing this nonsense for over 100 years now. At almost any time over the last 100 years, we were told that there was only about 40 or 50 years of oil left. I remember hearing that in the 1970s during the 2 energy crisis we had.

    Yet we keep finding new major deposits every couple of years, and new ways to extract more oil out of existing or even played out wells.

    But you are right about one thing. The USA has a crapload of coal. We are the Saudi Arabia of coal. I heard something a long time ago that the USA has enough coal to supply all the USA's energy needs for 500 years.

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  • Anonymous
    2 years ago

    coal is still the major producer of electricity

  • Anonymous
    2 years ago

    It's possible that it would stall oil's depletion and save us enough time to tweak green energy, but coal is more polluting than oil.

    But, green energy could work through solar batteries. They work by harnessing the sun and the energy is stored in batteries. When we run out of fossil fuels, a combination of solar power, wind power, hydrogen power, and nuclear power will help supply our energy needs.

    For example, cars could have solar power cells on them to capture solar power when the car is idle and then rely on hydrogen power while it's running.

    There are motors that can rely on used vegetable juice.

    If we run out of oil, we could sustainably melt plastic to convert it into oil. Burning the plastic via propane for instance is not sustainable.

    One way we could melt plastic into oil is through placing it under a metallic dome, lighting it on fire, and gathering the leftover remains, mix it with water and refine it by filtering the water away from the meted plastic. Then you will have oil.

    Humans are very inventive, but if the oil companies continue to be greedy and monopolize every little thing, and establish barriers for creative people trying to find alternatives, then we are doomed.

  • Anonymous
    2 years ago

    Re urbanization is the long term solution

    Which means that cars are going to become less common

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