Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 24th November 2010.

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Photo of Damian Hinds Damian Hinds Conservative, East Hampshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent estimate he has made of the amount of surface or near-surface coal available in the UK; and what assessment he has made of its potential contribution to meeting the UK's energy needs.

Photo of Charles Hendry Charles Hendry The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

The following table provides a breakdown of identified surface coal reserves in the UK.

Million tonnes
Current sites and licences
Operational sites 40
Planning granted 18
In planning process 20
Pre-planning 54
Prospects previously identified by British Coal
Well developed 121
Fully and partly proved 142
Potential 474
Total 869

The Coal Authority, March 2010

The Government's main policy objective in relation to the coal industry is to ensure that the United Kingdom is enabled to make best use of a valuable natural resource where it is economically viable and environmentally acceptable to do so.

In 2009 coal provided 28% of the UK's electricity supply.


Digest of UK Energy Statistics 2010, Department of Energy and Climate Change.

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