Government has awarded 17 projects as much as £50,000 of government funding to explore new ways of heating homes. The Department of business believes this is needed to ‘power-up’ the UK’s economic recovery; Solving what they believe is one of the ‘world’s most pressing challenges’.
Diagram of how geothermal heating would work – The Times

The 17 projects will be located in all 4 of nations of the UK and aims to help the UK to respond to ‘some of the world’s most pressing challenges’ which includes climate change, production of medicines, large-scale wind farms and researching quicker ways of diagnosing cancer.

One of the more ambitious projects listed includes plans to heat homes and businesses in Glasgow by using ‘energy from disused mines’. While this form of underground heating may sound like a pipe dream, research by the British Geological Survey has identified former coal mines deep underneath Glasgow which can be used to generate geothermal heat-energy. The BGS believe as much as 40% of Glasgow’s heat (and cooling in summer) could be generated in this way. For over 10 years, 17 homes in Glasgow have been heated in the same way, proving the technology will work.

Our studies are helping to identify which parts of the city would offer the best prospects of supplying this kind of energy; looking at the potential heat within minewaters, superficial deposits and bedrock aquifers beneath Glasgow.

The University of Strathclyde HotScot project to heat Glasgow claims it will provide ‘low-cost, low carbon heat’ to Scottish homes and businesses by extracting and concentrating energy from disused, flooded mines in Glasgow. The project claims it will deliver economic growth equivalent to £303 million and around 9,800 jobs in central Scotland.

The department of busienss announced :

*17 research projects across the UK will receive up to £50,000 each to drive local economic growth, provide skills training and create high-value jobs

*projects include accelerating building of offshore wind farms in the South West, digitising construction sites in the North East, and creating low carbon heat from disused mines in Glasgow

*funding forms part of government plans to power up the country’s economic recovery through research and development

In a statement to the press, Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “We are backing our innovators and with the support they need to turn great ideas into first-class industries, products and technologies.

“From virtual construction projects to extracting clean heat from disused mines, the pioneering projects we are funding today will help create jobs and boost skills across the UK as we continue to drive forward our economic recovery.”

Using abandoned mines to extract, condense and sent heat to homes and businesses is a great idea; but let’s hope the plan does not turn Glasgow into a Scottish Centralia.

The Centralia mine fire has burned since 1962!

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