How Flooded Coal Mines Could Heat Homes

How Flooded Coal Mines Could Heat Homes

A quarter of the U.K.'s homes sit above abandoned coal mines, long since flooded with water. Now, the mines are being put to a new, zero-carbon use

Andrew H. Sweet

The U.K. has committed itself to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, with much focus on the nation's heating needs (which account for around half of total energy usage).

To help meet the country's sweeping carbon-reduction target, the Coal Authority is exploring the feasibility of some 70 mine water heating projects across the U.K.

It is estimated that around a quarter of the U.K.'s population lives above abandoned coal mines, and that flooded shafts contain around 2.2 million GWh of heat, with the potential to store more.

Yet, while there's mounting evidence of mine water's energy potential, the idea isn't without issue. Retrofitting houses with the means to tap into a geothermal district heating network isn't cheap, and new builds aren't often sited next to derelict collieries.

Read the original story here.


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