These submerged coal mines are being used to heat hundreds of homes.

These submerged coal mines are being used to heat hundreds of homes.

Abandoned coal mines are providing an astonishing source of zero carbon energy in Europe.


An old coal mine has been giving England green energy for the last six months.

The Gateshead project is using hot water to fill tunnels to heat hundreds of homes and businesses in the former coal community.

Celebrating its success, the UK’s first large-scale network shows the enormous potential found in countries stretching over old mining tunnels about a quarter of the way home.

“What we have in Gateshead is a legacy of the coal mine era, a dirty energy,” said John McElroy, Gateshead Council of Ministers for Environment and Transport. We are now at the forefront of creating clean Green energy From those mines.

After decades of use, the UK Coal Gradually flooded. Geothermal This fluid provides an answer to our renewable energy needs.

With an estimated 2 billion cubic meters of hot water – more than a quarter of the volume of Loch Ness – geologists believe the UK mine shafts are one of the most unused sources of clean energy.

Gareth Farr, Head of Heating and Innovative Products, says removing heat from groundwater in abandoned coal mines provides an exciting opportunity to generate low-carbon, safe heat supply. To those who live or work in buildings on coal plantations. At the Coal Authority.

The Authority governs and manages the abolished coal mining infrastructure on behalf of the Government of the United Kingdom.

With millions of people living on abandoned coal fields in the UK, the potential for mine water heating could be significant.

The entry of heat from the water in the mines had the added benefit of boosting the economies of some of the communities most severely affected by the deep closure of the coal mines in the 1980s. So how does it work and where does it go?

How can submerged mines help heat a home?

My water is getting hotter and deeper This interactive map. Old coal mine from UK Coal Authority shows. Temperatures usually range from 10 to 20C, but can reach 45C at depths of 1km, such as in Yorkshire.

Leave to mix with underground rocks, water often contains toxins. But as a heat source, it is a valuable resource that can be utilized by drilling holes that bring it to the surface.

The water is then directed Heat pump And a filter device that compresses the fluid, raises it to a higher temperature, and distributes it through the heating network.

Once its heat is absorbed into the surrounding building, water can be pumped into the mine system where it will be reheated.

Mine water heating is also beneficial in working all year round. Temperatures are not affected by the seasons and water can be used to cool houses as well as heat them.

Which cities in the UK are accessing energy sources?

Once the heart of the Industrial Revolution, Northeast England is now leading the way in alternative energy sources.

The Gateshead Councils water project began in March 2023 and is now one of the largest in Europe. With government funding, it has installed a new 5km heating network of borehole heating networks and a pumping power center capable of generating 6 megawatts of mine water heat.

It now offers low-carbon thermal safety to 350 high-rise homes, colleges, art galleries, several office buildings and a large production facility.


Coal authorities and partners have been exploring the potential for low-carbon heat recovery from coal mining infrastructure that has been scrapped for years.

This. United Kingdom Geographic Observatory (UKGEOS) Based in Glasgow and operated by the British Geological Survey, it is a major research station for the site.

After the busy mines of Scotland and nearby Rutherglen closed, natural flooding filled it with water about 12C. In the summer of 2021, several holes were drilled into the facility and equipped with hundreds of sensors, providing a clearer picture of the submerged tunnel network. They show how fast water flows in a mine, how hot it is, how fast it fills up and reheats. .

UKGEOSs Alan MacDonald says data from these 12 wells in Glasgow will help scientists around the world better understand geothermal and geothermal energy.

The Glasgow Observatory and another project in Cheshire are part of a $ 31 million (37 million) investment by the Department of Commerce, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Funds dedicated to this research show the growing interest the government is taking in this attractive form. Geothermal energy.


European pioneers of geothermal energy

By going into its history to create new geographical energy assets, the UK is following in the footsteps of other European countries.

The world’s first hydroelectric power plant opened in Heerlen, the Netherlands in 2008. It is now connected to about 500 homes and commercial space, reducing local carbon emissions from overheating by nearly two-thirds.

Similar projects are underway in the Asturias region of northern Spain, where submerged coal is heating (and cooling) hospitals, universities and more.

“Geothermal energy has given a second life to our coal mines,” Asturias Mara Belarmina Daz Aguado, energy director, told the BBC.

Countries that are reorganizing their underground reserves are also looking further north. IcelandWhich pioneered the path of geothermal energy.


But even though the first hydroelectric power plant is located in Europe, the technology was used almost two decades ago in Springhill, Nova Scotia.

Similar to the mining disaster, the Canadian community began using heat from its inactive coal mines in 1989. A packaging company in the city now has a 100 percent renewable system throughout the year.

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