BGR Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe

Coal

Amongst the fossil energy resources, coal has the largest global total resources by far.

With a share of around 29 % (hard coal 27.5 %, lignite 1.7 %) of global primary energy consumption, coal was the second most important energy resource in 2015 behind crude oil. Coal accounted for a share of 39.3 % of global power generation in 2014, and was therefore the most dominant energy resource in this sector. Coal is the most important domestic energy resource in terms of reserves and production in Germany.

Confirmed coal reserves world-wide at the end of 2015 totalled 1,029 gigatonnes (Gt), split between 712 Gt hard coal and 317 Gt lignite. Coal resources world-wide are many times higher than coal reserves. Global resources of hard coal totalled 17,712 Gt, whilst the global resources of lignite totalled 4,422 Gt. Global coal production in 2015 was around 7.7 Gt, of which around 6.7 Gt were accounted for by hard coal. The reserves and resources of hard coal and lignite will be able to cover the foreseeable demand for many decades from a geological point of view.

The biggest hard coal producing countries 2015The biggest hard coal producing countries 2015 Source: BGR

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