Coal accounts for about a quarter of all electricity production in the EU and is also an important fuel for industrial processes like steel production. As a cheaper and more readily available alternative to other fossil fuels such as natural gas and oil, coal forms an integral part of the energy mix of many EU countries. It also helps some EU countries reduce their dependence on imports.
At the same time, the EU is working towards drastically reducing its carbon emissions, including from coal-fired power plants. Part of this strategy includes the implementation of clean coal technologies such as carbon capture and storage (CCS).
Mapping European coal deposits
The EU-funded EuCoRes project created a geographical database and map of EU coal basins, including potential sources of coal bed methane (CBM), based on a harmonised typology. This project was carried out by Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and RWTH Aachen University.
The addition of further data to the EuCoRes database is done in the context of the Technology Options for Coupled Underground Coal Gasification and CO2 Capture and Storage (TOPS) project, co-funded by the EU under the 7th Research Framework Programme.
The maps below have been created using the information from the EuCoRes database:
Disclaimer: These maps should be seen as working documents and the shown figures should be interpreted keeping in mind that the represented information can be incomplete or of variable quality. The European Commission does not guarantee the accuracy of the information given in the maps, nor does it accept responsibility for any use made thereof. Copyright in these maps is held by the European Union. Persons wishing to use the contents of these maps (in whole or in part) for purposes other than their personal use are invited to submit a written request to the following e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Coal mine methane
Coal mine methane is the main greenhouse gas related to coal production and post-mining activities such as processing, storage, and transportation. Currently, coal mine methane accounts for 6% of all methane emissions worldwide related to human activities. If captured however, it can be used to generate heat and electricity. The EU has co-funded two projects which examine ways to reduce the release of coal mine methane into the atmosphere: CoMeth and GHG2E.