Natural heat from the flooded remnants of Glasgow’s coal mines could be tapped to power the city, according to scientists who oversaw the drilling of a borehole. The site was the first of 12, reaching depths of up to 199m (653 ft), which will be used by the UK Geoenergy Observatory for Glasgow to research the city’s geology, underground water systems and potential to harness geothermal heat. The eastern part of the city was once the location of some of Scotland’s busiest coal mines which, after their closure, became naturally flooded with water that is about 12C. Measurements will be taken from within the boreholes, including temperature, water movement and water chemistry as well as at the surface to determine how much heat is available underground, whether it can be sustainably used and replenished and whether it could power homes and businesses. The observatory is one of two sites proposed in the £31 million UK Geoenergy Observatories investment commissioned by the Natural Environment Research Council, Britain’s leading funder for environmental sciences, and operated by the British Geological Survey, the UK’s principal provider of impartial geological evidence since 1835. If the project is successful, it could be introduced in other towns and cities across Britain as the country seeks to reduce its reliance on North Sea oil and imported natural gas to heat its homes. A geothermal scheme in Shettleston in the east end of Glasgow has been providing heat to a small number of homes for the past ten years, while in Cornwall heat from subterranean granite is being tapped to drive turbines. A shallower borehole has been supplying heat to buildings in Southampton since the 1980s.
Times 8th Dec 2018 read more »