The coal sector is under substantial pressure to undergo a deep transformation. The majority of developed states are on a course for coal phaseout. Many of them have either already reached that goal or set the date for ending their coal mining activities.
The pressure to end coal extraction and use is directly linked with the emissions that it generates. While carbon dioxide is the main culprit, methane is rapidly gaining ground in importance, in terms of the scale of its emissions, which are rising as mining is forced go deeper in search of additional reserves. Awareness of the dangers of methane emission is also growing adding more pressure and expense to the coal industry. Coal related emissions have captured the attention of both experts who see them not only as a threat, but also as an opportunity for an immediate mitigation action, and lay people who are concerned with the wellbeing of the planet.
The technologies to capture and utilize coal mine methane exist and are proven on a commercial scale. The detection and monitoring methods are rapidly improving, providing scientists and government authorities with data that was previously unavailable unless it was reported by the industry itself. This changing situation opens new opportunities for regulators.
However, any new regulatory framework that is to be introduced must also take under consideration the voice of the industry, which provides livelihoods of thousands of people and the whole communities. Therefore, the transformation process has to be seen broadly. Regulation of methane, interests of the industry, wellbeing of people and the future of the whole regions are all closely intertwined and should be addressed as a whole.
In that context the International Centre of Excellence on CMM in Poland, the UNECE Group of Experts on CMM, and GMI held a two-day-long workshop on Methane in the Context of the Transition of the Coal Sector. The event was delivered within the framework of the XXX School of Underground Mining organized by the Mineral and Energy Economy Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Faculty of the Mining and Geoengineering of the AGH University of Science and Technology.
The main focus of the workshop was given to:
- Technical aspects of capture and use of CMM and AMM;
- Coal Mine Methane Emissions, including:
- Monitoring and detection of methane emissions,
- Technical possibilities for capture and use of methane from coal mines,
- EU Methane Strategy and its impact on Polish mining;
- Mine closure and repurposing in the context of just transition.
Videos Presented at the Meeting
Provided by Mr. Jin Zhixin
Video complementing a presentation titled MARCO ventilation air methane utilisation technology - experience from the pilot project at the Barbara mine
Provided by Mr. Robert Hildebrandt, GIG KD Barbara, and Mr. Dariusz Świerczyński, PROFILE Warszawa
Expected impact of the EU Methane Strategy on the coal industry in Europe
Provided by Mr. Brian Ricketts, Secretary-General, EURACOAL
Technical presentation on a selected aspect of CMM in Kazakhstan
Provided by Mr. Evgeny Alekseyeev, Deputy Director, Methane Center PA
Laboratory Lusatia - Decarbonization of an Industrial (Coal) Region
Provided by Mr. Hans Rüdiger Lange, Professor, Brandenburgische Technische Universität Cottbus-Senftenberg
Mining landscape - aerial view
Provided by GIG
Videos of all presentations (in a language in which they were delivered) are available at the web page of the School of Underground Mining (please note that access to full recordings requires creating an account): Day1, Day 2.