Report: Coal production to fall in Germany as it pursues green alternatives


Coal production in Germany is predicted to drop to 172.6 million tonnes (Mt) by 2020 due to the country's transition to more renewable energy sources, says a report by Timetric.

Entitled 'Coal Mining in Germany to 2020', the report highlights that German authorities intend to reduce CO2 emissions by 40% by 2020 by replacing coal with renewable energy sources. Germany was the eighth biggest coal producer worldwide in 2014 with 185.8Mt of coal production. The country had 4.5% of the total global reserves and sixth-biggest proven coal reserves in 2014 at 40.5 billion tonnes (Bt).

"Germany's power generation sector accounted for 86.3% of the total coal consumption in 2014."

Germany's power generation sector accounted for 86.3% of the total coal consumption (234.6Mt) in 2014. Changing times combined with the government's energy transition policy resulted in a slight increase in the share of renewable sources over lignite for the first time in 2014. Renewable sources accounted for 25.7% in the power generation mix, while lignite's share was slightly lower at 25.6%.

The shutting down of domestic mines such as Lippe, Lohberg and Walsum in North Rhine-Westphalia and Bergheim in Baden-Wurttemberg led to a 12.8% increase in the coal imports in 2014 to 57.1Mt. The key suppliers were Russia, the US and Colombia, which contributed 55.6% to the total coal imports in 2014.

The Timetric report mentions that lignite is the widely produced variety of coal used in the German power generation industry.

The key firms in the country's coal mining industry are RWE Power AG, Vattenfall GmbH and RAG AG. The Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (FMET) and the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) oversee the workings of the mining industry in Germany.