Tagebau Inden / Open coalmine Inden Germany

Germany’s lignite reserves are inexpensive to produce, making it one of the world’s largest lignite producers (20% of global output). Germany has the largest coal reserves in the EU, of which over 97 percent are lignite (brown coal), with the remainder being bituminous and anthracite (hard coal). According to the 2008 BP Statistical Energy Survey, Germany had end 2007 coal reserves of 6708 million tonnes. Germany is the seventh largest coal producer in the world, producing a total of 201.86 million tonnes of coal in 2007 while consuming 86.03 million tonnes oil equivalent. Germany is the world’s fourth largest coal consumer, importing the bulk of its coal from Poland, South Africa and Russia.


The Rhenish (Rhineland) lignite-mining region covers an area of around 2,500km² to the west of Cologne. RWE Power operates four large opencast mines in the district – Hambach, Garzweiler, Inden and Bergheim – which between them produced 96.2Mt of lignite in 2006. The brown coal industry is dominated by RAG Aktiengesellschaft and RWE Power. .


The Government of Germany announced in January 2007 that it planned to shut down its eight remaining black coal mines by 2018. This phase-out will be reviewed by parliament again in 2012 to see if its still makes economic sense. Seven of the remaining mines are in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia, home to the Ruhr industrial region, and one is located in the small state of Saarland on the border with France. At present Germany's federal and regional governments subsidise coal mining by up to €2.5 billion a year and the deal ensures continued financial support for the sector until the last mine is closed. The plan does not affect Germany's brown coal mining sector which can produce coal more cheaply because it uses open-cast mines.


  • Pedro Nunez PRO 6y

    how the light diffusses over the clouds... spectacular!

    Fantastic capture and great info!
    Wishing you perfect weekend.
  • idefix on copyrights 6y

    Beautiful light and composition

    Happy Halloween
  • pieter musterd PRO 6y

    Komen die grote wolken nu allemaal uit die pijpjes? Leuke foto hoor
  • jose antonio andres 6y

    genial fotografia
  • Jörg 6y

    Deine Zahlenangaben sind sehr eindrucksvoll und gleichzeitig auch erschreckend. Früher wäre man vielleicht stolz gewesen, dass dieses Land so reich an Kohle ist und weitreichende Reserven hat. Heute wissen wir, dass das Verbrennen von Kohle stark zur Klimaverschlechterung weltweit beiträgt. Deshalb muss sich D. sehr viel Mühe geben, von diesem fossilen Energiemittel wegzukommen. - Dein Foto gefällt mir sehr gut !
  • Steve-h PRO 6y

    Great shot, awful pollution !
  • Heccastudio / I see you soon PRO 6y

    wowowo fabulous compo wonderful pic wowowow great
    have a fun sunday my friend happy halloween!
  • George Smyth 6y

    What an ominous cloud. Very nicely captured.
  • Jiang PRO 6y

    Such gorgeous light rays!
  • Photos Marlies 6y

    Wat een wolken! Geweldige foto!
  • Herald 6y

    Wat een topplaat zeg! Bijna surrealistisch, heel mooi gedaan!

    Nog een fijne avond en alvast een goede start van de nieuwe week... :-)

    A Big FaveA Big Fave
    You are invited to add this image to www.flickr.com/groups/bigfave
    Please tag this photo with ABigFave when you add it to the pool.
  • Mirthe Duindam PRO 6y

    Dus dáár is de wolkencentrale!!
    Prachtig licht en silhouetten!!
  • chris van dolleweerd PRO 6y

    die zonnestralen erboven zijn ook erg mooi!
  • wandelgraaf(mostly off) 6y

    de industrie levert in ieder geval een sublieme foto op
  • Guido Musch 6y

    Geweldig licht zeg, mooi Bert!
  • Md Khurshid 6y

  • Pati-G [Pati Gaitan] 6y

    very interesting, I had no idea this region of Germany had so many coal mines. . . . great picture.
  • Bram du Saar PRO 5y

    So that's where they hide that cloud factory?!

    Truly intriguing photo.
  • cowrin 5y

    Love the photo, I've used it on my blog suitablydespairing.blogspot.com

    Thanks for using Creative Commons
22 faves
Taken on September 25, 2009
  • ƒ/10.0
  • 19.0 mm
  • 1/400
  • 100
  • Flash (off, did not fire)
  • Show EXIF
This photo is in 3 groups
This photo is in 2 albums

Additional info

  • Viewing this photo Public
  • Safety level of this photo Safe
  • S Search
    Photo navigation
    < > Thumbnail navigation
    Z Zoom
    B Back to context