The use of water from abandoned coal mines to heat homes and historic sites has taken a further step forward. The Welsh government has agreed to spend £450,000 on a project which it hopes will help cut Welsh energy bills and Wales’ carbon footprint. The money will be used by the Coal Authority, who manage disused pits in Britain, to locate the best areas in Wales for such a project.
Potential sites will be tested for the effectiveness of extracting water from disused mines and putting it through a heat exchanger, where some heat is recovered, before it is amplified by a heat pump. This can then be used to heat homes and/or industrial heritage sites. Mine water heating is low-carbon, but not carbon-free because the water has to be further warmed using a heat pump, which operates like a fridge in reverse. A similar programme in Gateshead, England, developed by the Coal Authority at a cost of £9m, has become the largest mine water heat scheme in the UK.
For further details follow this link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-62154271
or this link for the Gateshead project: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-60772187
For the Coal Authority website follow this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/the-coal-authority