By Eugene Henderson
March 12, 2018 - Britain's disused coal mines are being put to work again in a new scheme to generate low-carbon energy. The technology involves tapping into geothermal hot water deep underground in the mines.
The new project to provide heat to homes and businesses is already underway in Bridgend, once at the heart of the South Wales coalfield.
The first coal mining operations opened north of Bridgend in the 17th century.
Since the pits closed, they have flooded with water, which has been heated by the Earth’s core.
A £10million scheme at the former Caerau colliery aims to heat 150 homes in what would be a UK first.
Construction is due to start in 2020 with the first homes connected by winter 2021.
Up to 1,000 homes in Wales’s fifth most deprived area will benefit, saving residents £100 a year.
Last week Energy Secretary Claire Perry said the Government is working with The Coal Authority to better understand the UK’s geothermal mine water resources.
The Coal Authority recently assessed there could be more than two million gigawatt hours of low-carbon heat in the UK’s mines.
The Minister said: “We need to reduce emissions from heating our homes and businesses.
“These make up almost a third of UK emissions.”
She praised the Bridgend scheme as an example of “using mine heat for a heat network to provide local homes and businesses with low-carbon, affordable heating”.
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