Disused Coal Mines in England to be Mapped for Clean Energy Potential

Almost a quarter of the region’s homes now sit above inactive, flooded coal mines that could be used to heat residences. By: Annabel Cossins-Smith,  February 1, 2024

Dan Norris, the Mayor of the West of England, has pledged funding to explore the potential use of old, flooded coal mines as a source of clean thermal energy. Norris last week announced plans to launch a £1.6m ($2.04m) Heat from Mines study, backed by the UK’s Coal Authority and cultural government body Historic England, to explore whether disused mines in the region can be repurposed as a clean energy source to heat homes.

There are more than 100 coal mines in and around the Somerset Coalfield and South Gloucestershire areas in the West of England where coal was mined from the 15th century through to 1973, when the last pit was closed.

Almost a quarter of the region’s homes now sit above these inactive coal mines, which are now flooded with water. Proposals suggest that by using heat pumps, the water, which has been naturally warmed by the earth, could heat homes across the west.

Norris says there is the potential to heat more than 100,000 homes as well as other buildings such as schools, hospitals and offices.