The Anonymous Widower

How Defunct Coal Mines Could Heat UK Homes

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Mining Technology.

This is the introductory paragraph.

In a country with no operational coal mines, the UK Coal Authority has proposed to once again turn these operations to heating homes and businesses. But this time, they will not provide coal for burning. The plan, to take warm water from flooded mines, would turn an environmental problem into a community solution, and the idea is spreading.

The reason, I’m posting this is two-fold.

There was a report on this edition of Countryfile, which should be available until the end of 2022. The relevant section starts at 38.5 minutes into the program.

Charlotte Adams is featured in this report and the Countryfile program. I first came across Charlotte and her fascinating work at a lecture in 2018, which I wrote about in Can Abandoned Mines Heat Our Future?

 

January 23, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mine Water Heat

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from the Coal Authority.

This is the introductory paragraph.

The Coal Authority is working with partners to unlock the heat within our historical coal mine network, to transform the homes and workplaces of the future.

The Coal Authority doesn’t have much of a historic product, so selling the heat from the mines could be an environmentally-friendly revenue scheme.

These four paragraphs are the heart of the press release.

As part of our work to make a better future for people and the environment in mining areas, we’re exploring opportunities to use mine water to heat and cool homes and businesses.

Water within the mines is warmed by natural processes and can, if sustainably managed, provide a continuous supply of heat. Mine water temperatures are not affected by seasonal variations and, subject to the right support, mine water can provide renewable, secure, low carbon heating for buildings in coalfield areas.

With heating accounting for 40% of energy use in the UK, mine water heat could improve the sustainability of the places where we live and work. Mine water heat could also play a part in the UK’s efforts to tackle climate change and support its net zero future.

The Coal Authority are working with academics, local authorities, central government and others to help realise the potential of mine water heat. We’re supporting the delivery of mine water heat projects and working with others to make them happen.

The press release then adds more details and describes specific projects.

Mines For Storing Electricity

We also mustn’t forget other uses for abandoned coal mines.

I particularly like Gravitricity’s idea of used abandoned deep mines to store energy, that I wrote about in Gravitricity Explores Czech Coal Mine For MW-Scale Storage.

I hope the Coal Authority has its eyes on this ball.

Conclusion

I first became aware of the ability to extract heat from abandoned coal mines at a lecture at the Geological Society of London, after which I wrote Can Abandoned Mines Heat Our Future?.

I believe that for some parts of the country, this could become the preferred technology for heating homes and businesses.

The technology was even featured on the BBC tonight.

 

January 6, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , | 1 Comment