Energy resources: Coal
Energy resources: Coal

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Energy resources: Coal

4.3 The UK's coal reserves

Production of large quantities of coal in the UK during the 19th and 20th centuries led to the progressive depletion of reserves. In 2005 underground mining was limited to the Carboniferous coalfields of Yorkshire and the East Midlands, with only one underground mine operating in South Wales. However, surface mining sites still work coal in most of the coalfields (Figure 19).

As Section 5 will show, what is considered to be a reserve (i.e. the amount that is thought to be recoverable in the future under existing economic conditions — Sheldon, 2005) changes with time. The coalfields of northern England and the Midland Valley of Scotland that extend eastwards under the North Sea are examples of this. Although coal has been worked there in the past, it is not currently recoverable at a profit.

In 2004, the UK's coal reserves were estimated to be 1.0 × 10 9 t of anthracite and bituminous coal, and 0.5 × 109 t of sub-bituminous coal and lignite. Together, these two figures represent 0.2% of total global coal reserves.

Skip Your course resources

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371