The diagram below shows UK coal production from 1855 to 2005. The graph is taken from a recent technical paper, "The Great Coal Hole", by David Strahan.
The trend is very firmly downwards. Unless there is a stratospheric rise in oil and gas prices, it seems likely that a lot of UK coal will be left in the ground.
Roughly one third of our electricity is generated from coal. Increasingly this is being sourced from abroad.
In former times there was a massive industry in Britain producing gas from coal, coke, tar, and a host of derivatives including ammonium sulphate, motor fuel, disinfectants, napthalene, anthracene (for dyes), pitch, water-gas and producer-gas. Most of these are now made in other ways.
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