Germany's coal imports increase despite Russian embargo

(MENAFN) According to a report from Bild newspaper, Germany remained heavily reliant on coal imports from Russia last year, despite the imposition of sanctions on such imports in mid-2022. The report, citing data from the German Coal Importers Association, states that Germany imported a total of 44.4 million tons of coal in 2022, an 8 percent increase from the previous year. While the imports from Russia fell by 37 percent compared to 2021, the country still supplied approximately 13 million tons to Germany, making up around 29 percent of the country's total imports.

The other countries that supplied coal to Germany experienced growth, but none were able to match the volumes of Russia. The United States supplied 9.4 million tons, an increase of 32 percent from the previous year, while Colombia became the third-largest supplier with 7.2 million tons, a surge of 210 percent. Shipments from South Africa also rose significantly by 278 percent year-on-year to 3.9 million tons. Australia was the fourth-largest coal supplier with 6.3 million tons.

It should be noted that the European Union had banned coal imports from Russia on August 10, 2022, as part of a Ukraine-related sanctions package announced in April 2022. Russia accounted for roughly 70 percent of the bloc's coal imports in 2021, and Germany and Poland were particularly dependent on the Russian fossil fuel, as much of their electricity was produced by coal-powered power plants. However, it appears that most of the Russian coal was delivered to Germany before or shortly after August 10, when the embargo went into effect.

Germany has been facing a significant energy shortage, leading to an increase in coal use and soaring power prices, due to the reduction in gas supplies from Russia following Western sanctions. The country's commitment to fighting climate change and phasing out the use of 'dirty' fuel has been at odds with the need to address the energy crisis. Despite the sanctions, the continued reliance on coal imports from Russia highlights the ongoing challenges Germany faces in balancing energy security with its environmental goals.



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