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Could our abandoned mines provide low-carbon cheap heat for homes?

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Ken Wade Lecture Theatre

Calman Learning Centre

Durham University

South Road, Durham

DL16 6RN

United Kingdom

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Spennymoor, in County Durham, is a town that grew alongside the exploitation of its underlying coal reserves. When the mines were closed, water pumping stopped, leaving a legacy of flooded underground workings. Dr Charlotte Adams is currently undertaking a project to understand whether the water contained within abandoned mines beneath the town could be used as a source of heat and provide a low carbon source of warmth for homes.

With 2,000 more homes planned for construction in Spennymoor, an ageing population and ever increasing fuel costs, the use of renewable and sustainable energy to heat public and private spaces has the potential to help reduce the economic cost to the public, the environmental impact of population growth and take pressure off aging infrastructure.

In addition to looking at the potential available, researchers leading the project will use this presentation to engage with local people to seek their views and understandings of using abandoned mines as an energy source.

Dr Adams is the research manager for the BritGeothermal Research Partnership which is based in the Department of Earth Sciences as well as a lecturer in the Geography Department. Her research interests include hydrogeology, hydrogeochemistry, geothermal energy and ground source heat and microgeneration.

Dr Adams has both industrial and academic experience having joined industry on secondment to investigate the potential of abandoned mine workings for exploitation by ground source heat pumps and worked subsequently for several years in the renewable energy industry before joining Durham University in 2009.

All DEI public lectures are free to attend and open to the public. Free parking is available in all campus carparks for non-university attendees.

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Ken Wade Lecture Theatre

Calman Learning Centre

Durham University

South Road, Durham

DL16 6RN

United Kingdom

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