Former coalmines get flooded and the water needs to be pumped out and cleaned to stop it contaminating drinking supplies. When it is brought to the surface it has been warmed by the Earth – in the case of the Dawdon pit at Seaham up to about 19-20C. Under the plans, heat pumps would increase the temperature to 55/60C – warm enough to piped into homes and provide a constant source of heat and hot water. The entire process would produce almost no carbon and a steady stream of cheap, reliable heating for homes and businesses. The Coal Authority, which is responsible for the UK’s 23,000 abandoned deep coalmines, believes the potential of this geothermal heating is immense. It says 25% of people in the UK live on top of former coalmines and argues that refocusing the UK’s coalfields for a zero carbon, geothermal future could be transformative for energy and former mining communities.
Guardian 10th Aug 2021 read more »