Heat energy sourced from former underground mines could play a key role in decarbonising UK homes, according to fresh research led by a coalition of firms from North East England. Led by the government-funded Mine Energy Taskforce and Local Energy Hub network, the study paper calls for greater support for harnessing energy from mines, arguing that rolling out large-scale schemes to heat homes from former underground shafts could support the UK’s net zero goals. Moreover, it argues developing mine energy schemes could help support the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda, bringing economic advantages to coalfield communities and businesses across the UK. The process involves extracting natural, geothermal-heated water that has gathered in the underground networks of abandoned mines, the report explains. Using heat pumps, the heat can be extracted and used to heat fresh water, providing low carbon heating in homes and commercial buildings. Heat from water in underground mines is “abundant and widely distributed” according to the report, and could be “constantly available at a self-sustaining and consistent temperature”.
Business Green 26th May 2021 read more »