Gallery: Old Coal Mines Adapted to Create Geothermal Energy


Recently the town of Heerlen in the Netherlands repurposed an old abandoned coal mine into a brilliant source of geothermal energy. The project takes advantage of flooded underground mine shafts, using their thermal energy to power a large-scale district heating system. Dubbed the Minewater Project, the new system recently went online and provides 350 homes and businesses in the town with hot water and heating in the winter and cool water in the summer.

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  1. techpartners March 18, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    Old Coal Mines Adapted to Generate Geothermal Energy

    Geothermal Works, love what they did there.

  2. gogreenurway December 11, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    Thanks for sharing this great news. I suggested similar things in a on my blog:

    1. stop pinning our existence on coal-generated electricity (and more recently ‘clean coal’ because there is no such thing) and switching to alternative sources of electricity where available.

    2. lobby coal mining companies to invest in alternative energy now instead of waiting until our coal supply has dwindled (experts say we have 110-120 years supply left), because until they either run out of coal or are forced to switch they’ll continue to invest in coal and continue to lobby for government support.

    Apparently the coal market in the Netherlands went flat and that’s why those mines were abandoned, so mining companies in the U.S. don’t have to wait until supplies are completely depleted to repurpose the mines.

    I plan to save and reuse this story (and of course, use proper attribution) because I want to make sure that case is continually cited as an example of what can be done if we act now instead of waiting until we’re on ‘E’.

    I plan to include this link in a follow-up post. Great news and great pictures. Thanks again for a timely report.

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