Nine Member States in the European Union (EU) produce lignite, also called ‘brown coal’, for electricity and heat production. Germany is the main producer and accounted for about 45% of total EU lignite production in 2018 followed by Poland (16%), Czechia (11%), Greece (10%), Bulgaria (8%) and Romania (6%). All together these 6 countries accounted for 96% of the total EU production.
In 2018, 9% of total gross electricity produced in the EU was based on lignite, the same as the amount of electricity produced from other bituminous coal and more than double the amount from solar photovoltaic. At EU level, nuclear heat and natural gas were the main fuels used for electricity production. However, at country level, electricity generated from lignite represented a large proportion in some Member States, with the highest shares in Czechia (43%), Bulgaria (38%), Greece (32%) and Poland (29%).