Indonesia Currently Ranks 10th with Roughly 3.1% of Total Global Coal Reserves
Coal - a fossil fuel - is the most important energy source for electricity generation and also forms an essential fuel for the production of steel and cement. A negative characteristic of coal, however, is that it can be labelled as the most polluting energy source due to its high proportion of carbon. Other vital energy sources, such as natural gas, are less polluting but significantly more exhaustive and more susceptible to price fluctuations on the world market. Therefore, the world's industries have increasingly shifted their focus to coal.
Indonesia is one of the world's largest producers and exporters of coal. Since 2005, when it overtook Australia, the country is leading exporter in thermal coal. A significant portion of this exported thermal coal consists of a medium-quality type (between 5100 and 6100 cal/gram) and a low-quality type (below 5100 cal/gram) for which large demand comes from China and India. According to information presented by the Indonesian Ministry of Energy, Indonesian coal reserves are estimated to last around 83 years if the current rate of production is to be continued.
Regarding global coal reserves, according to the BP statistical Review of World Energy 2015, Indonesia currently ranks 10th, containing roughly 3.1 percent of total proven global coal reserves according to the most recent BP Statistical Review of World Energy. Around 60 percent of Indonesia's total coal reserves consists of the cheaper lower quality (sub-bituminous) coal that contains less than 6100 cal/gram.
There are numerous smaller pockets of coal reserves on the islands of Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Papua but the three largest regions of Indonesian coal resources are:
1. South Sumatra 2. South Kalimantan 3. East Kalimantan