Graph of the day: the long death of British coal

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I wrote yesterday that British coal production is now lower than at any point in the last two centuries. So I thought I would post this graph which shows just how much per capita coal production has fallen in the last century.


A century ago it was around 7 tonnes per capita. Today it is 0.2 tonnes. This is a huge decline, but one that was incredibly protracted. All of Britain’s existing coal power plants will be gone in two decades, which will leave blast furnaces as almost the only user of coal in Britain. (Unless CCS actually gets going of course).

China today produces 2.7 tonnes of coal per capita. So, imagine a world where China is like Britain in 1913. It’s comforting is it not?

I plan to expand on this in a future piece over at the Energy Collective.



One thought on “Graph of the day: the long death of British coal

    Donough Shanahan said:
    April 2, 2014 at 7:39 am

    I often see reports of people saying that the UK has got ‘large’ reserves of coal remaining. Doing a fag packet calculation, any idea of what these reserves could do if we started to use them?

    PS. I am under no illusions to the viability of getting at these reserves; very difficult in many cases.


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