Coal Energy in Germany

Decent Essays
Germany is the leader in Europe in the coal industry with significant amounts of coal operations, especially lignite. Germany has approximately 73,000 million short tons of coal reserves with more than 47,000 and 25,000 million tons of lignite and hard coal reserves respectively (Miller 25). Germany is the major lignite producer in the whole of Europe with major lignite reserves found at Lusatian, Rhineland, central German basins, which are all of tertiary age. Coal is a major source of energy used in the generation of electricity and in the coking process. Apart from production German is a major importer of coal. The major hard coal deposits in the country are found in the regions of Ruhr and Saar coalfields, with major players being RAG Aktiengesellschaft and RWE Power being involved in the mining of hard coal and lignite respectively (Bischoff et al. 63). Of the lignite deposits, the Rhineland deposits are the largest and most significant for the nation and are located between the German/Belgium/Dutch boarder and the River Rhine (Miller 25). The Lusatian and Central German basins are found to the eastern side of Germany. These lignite deposits have heating values of 3350-5400Btu/lb, a moisture content of 40-60%, sulfur and ash content varying from 0.2-2.1% and 1.5-8.5% respectively, with the Rhineland lignite coal deposits having a sulfur content of less than 0.5% (Miller 25). The restructuring of the hard coal mining industry from 1999 led to the rapid development of
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