Renewable energy to be generated from Oldham’s disused coal mines

Coal mines used to be the homes of fossil fuels – but could they now provide a greener future?

Net Hero Podcast

Disused coal mines in Oldham might now be a source of clean energy for the town, despite their fossil-fuelled past.

A new project, the Oldham Mine Water Heat Network, has begun – looking to use heat from floodwater in the mines underneath the town centre.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has provided £160,000 to Oldham Council to kickstart the research.

Mine water is warmer the deeper into the Earth it is, with temperatures hitting 40°C at depths of close to one kilometre.

This water can then be extracted and heat pumps can be used to recover the heat and distribute it to local heating networks, homes and buildings.

Oldham Council is hoping to have this project up and running with the new injection of funding to turn an area that was once responsible for pollution, into a source of green energy.

It has set an aim to become net zero by 2025, with the borough following suit by the end of the decade.

Councillor Abdul Jabbar said: “Oldham is one of only a handful towns in the UK to be developing plans for a mine water heat network. As the planet continues to suffer and energy bills hit record highs, we must do all we can find an affordable, eco-friendly solution.

“We are living in incredibly difficult times and the increase in energy bills and rising cost of living is a huge concern for so many of us.

“At the same time, fossil fuels continue to damage our climate. We must act now before it is too late.”