He focused on energy sources, and his point that the increase in usage of brown coal is neglegtible, is correct.
In that respect, that is correct, the increase might indeed be just noise.
You focus on TWh production of elictricity, where you clearly see there is a noticeable increase in terra watt hours of electricity produced ... however no one can deduce how much more brown coal was used for that.
This data is pretty hard to come by, I agree, so I had to make some assumptions (elaborated below). Can you cite your sources?
so bottom line the "record usage" of brown coal is still nearly 20% below the 1990 level (in primary energy) and roughly 10% below 1990 level in electric power production
While it is true that some efficiency offsets might be made, your numbers simply do not add up to the graph Dunkelfalke linked. It lists lignite at 3201 TJ in 1990 and 1645 TJ in 2012. That is not "[usage] of brown coal is still nearly 20% below the 1990 level (in primary energy)", that is a 50% reduction in primary energy. All of that also happened before the year 2000 - since then, pretty much no reduction in lignite use has occurred. If powerplant efficiency were indeed rising while electrical generation remained mostly flat during the 2000-2011 period, that would imply that a rising proportion of that input lignite energy (which flatlined during that time period too) is being used for heating and other uses. However that doesn't appear to be the case either (coal use outside of electricity is falling rapidly) - this leads me to believe that there hasn't been such a dramatic increase in efficiency as to be able to confidently say that the recent increase in generation is due to an increase in powerplant efficiency. Also, how can you claim use in electrical generation is 10% below 1990, when even you said yourself just a few moments before that "no one can deduce how much more brown coal was used for that". I'd really appreciate if you could cite your sources, that would allow us to clear up the situation. If you have access to figures on lignite consumption by coal fired power plants, that would be great. Otherwise, the only reliable thing we can say is that electrical generation from lignite is at an all time high since 1990.