Older Power Plants - Less capacity more demands

Smithsonian Magazine

Nov 23, 2021

Researchers ranked the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel power plants by combing through data for 29,000 plants. The results revealed the worst offenders were inefficient coal-fired power plants

Most of our electricity is being generated from a power plant. Although they provide approximately 16% of energy, the amount of pollution emitted by them is always overlooked. Power plants do contribute but for how long? What about the older power plants with outdated machinery and technology?


According to a new study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters. The study found that a mere five percent of the 29,000 power plants it surveyed were responsible for 73 percent of the planet’s emissions of carbon dioxide produced by the electricity generation sector, Nature reports.Researchers ranked the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel power plants by combing through 2018 emissions data for 29,000 plants in 221 countries. The results revealed the worst offenders were inefficient coal-fired power plants,reports Audrey Carleton for Vice.


There was a rule passed to shut down power plants that are obsolete for their pollution.Shutting down power plants older than 20 years can save the exchequer more than 5 million dollars over five years. These are savings from not having to spend on retrofitting these plants to reduce the toxicity of their emissions, as well as switching to renewable sustainable energy. Jennifer Burney, associate professor of environmental science at the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy found that between 2005 and 2016, the shutdown of older coal-fired units saved an estimated 26,610 lives and 570 million crops by the decrease of emission from them.


Finally to address the question “How do we then compensate for the electricity if the plants are closed?” - With technology increasing by leaps and bounds, it can be achieved by implementing a high supply grid of renewable energy sources. Educating consumers and distributors about the usage and environmental benefits of renewable sources, and making them available and affordable to the larger crowd will go a long way.


We Enposs join hands with every individual for the change towards clean and sustainable energy by educating customers and reducing energy usage by 10%. Be a part of the change.