Around the world, 323.6 gigaton (31.3%) of the coal reserves are located in Eurasian countries, 424.2 gigaton (41.0%) in the Asia Pacific countries, 258.7 gigaton (25.0%) in North America, 14.4 gigaton (1.4%) in African and East Mediterranian countries and 14.0 gigaton (1.4%) in Central and South American countries.
Lignite is a type of coal which is generally used as a fuel in thermal power plants in order to possess its low grade and the high amount of ash and humidity. However, it is an energy raw material which is frequently used as it is quite abundant in the earth’s crust. On the other hand, Anthracite, is among the group of high calorie coals.
The World Energy Council has reported that the world coal reserves are present in around 80 countries, and The greatest part of the reserves isin the USA with 250.9 gigaton. The USA is followed by the Russia Federation with 160.4 gigaton, and Australia with 144.8 gigaton. Among the other coal rich countries are: China (138.8 gigaton), India (97.7 gigaton), Germany (36.1 gigaton), Ukraine (34.4 gigaton), Poland (25.8 gigaton), Kazakhstan (25.6 gigaton) and Indonesia (22.6 gigaton). Thus, more than 90% of the world coal reserves are situated within the borders of this nine countries.
According to the research carried out by the World Energy Council, the proven and exploitable coal reserves within the world amount is 892 billion tons in total. 403 gigaton of these are in the anthracite and bituminous coal category, 287 gigaton are sub-bituminous coal, and 201 gigaton are lignite.
When the total coal production in the world in 2015 is taken into consideration, it is calculated that the global coal reserves have a lifespan of around 134 years. As a result of the serious coal exploration activities carried out in recent years, the lignite reserves in our country can be increased significantly. At the same time, the efforts directed at classifying the said reserves in accordance with international standards, and determining our economically exploitable reserves are continued.
Our country is evaluated as being at medium levels in terms of the reserves and production amounts of lignite, and also at low levels inanthracite. Approximately 3,2% of the total world reserves of lignite/sub- bituminous coal are in our country. In addition as the grade of a large portion of our lignite is low, its use in thermal plants has stood out. Approximately 46% of the lignite reserves in our country are located in the Afsin – Elbistan basin. The most important anthracite reserves of our country are in Zonguldak and the surrounding regions. The total anthracite reserves in the Zonguldak basin are 1.30 gigaton,but however the visible reserves are around 506 million tons.
Lignite/sub- bituminous coal fields are spread out among all regions of our country, and the grade of the lignite/sub- bituminous coal in these fields varies between 1000-5000 kcal/kg. Around 68% of the total lignite/sub- bituminous coal reserves in our country are low calorie, with 23,5% between 2000-3000 kcal/kg, 5,1% between 3000-4000 kcal/kg, and 3,4% is above 4000 kcal/kg grading.
By the end of 2017, Turkey possessed 145.3 million tons of Equivalent Petrol (MTEP), with the share of coal in the total primary energy consumption being 27%. As of the end of 2018, the power plant installed capacity dependent on coal in our country was 18,997 MW, and this is equal to 21.5% of the total installed capacity. The installed capacity using domestic coal is 10,203 MW (11.5%) and using imported coal is 8,794 MW (10.0%).
With the aim of meeting of the demand for energy which increased in parallel with industrialization and the increase in the population; the efforts to find new coal fields and developing the existing ones have been speeded up within the framework of the objectives of placing more importance on domestic resources and decreasing the dependence on imports in the production of energy since 2005. In addition to the 8,3 gigaton of existing reserves, 9 gigaton of new lignite reserves were determined by the end of 2014 as a result of these explorations.
In 2018, total of 113.3 TWh gross electricity was generated from coal, and this is around 37.3% of the amount in total gross electricity generation.
About 9 gigaton tons of reserves increase has been provide between 2005-2015. While the level of lignite reserves in 2005 were 8,3 gigaton,at the end of 2015, this level has exceeded 17.9 gigaton.
Instead of using natural gas which is an imported resource to generate electricity, the efforts towards swiftly activating our lignite fields whose reserves have been determined andwhich possess the features required to establish thermal plants, into operation quickly, and the addition of new units to existing power plantshas been carrying on.
The details presented here have been prepared with the aim of informing the users of the website of our Ministry, and do not possess the characteristics of official binding documents.