Old coal mine in Glasgow to host geothermal research lab

It aims to contribute to an understanding of the potential for warm water in disused coal mines to be used for renewable heat

Pathway to COP26 report

Plans to develop a geothermal research facility at an old coal mine in Glasgow have been approved.

Glasgow City Council and South Lanarkshire Council have given the go-ahead for the Glasgow Geothermal Energy Research Field Site, which will enable the UK science community to study the geothermal environment below the Earth’s surface.

It aims to contribute to an understanding of the potential for warm water in disused coal mines to be used for renewable heat.

The site will feature a number of boreholes of various depths, which will enable research into the area’s geology, underground water systems and the potential for mine water geothermal heat, with the study carried out over a period of 15 years.

It is one of two sites proposed under the £31 million UK Geoenergy Observatories investment led by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the British Geological Survey (BGS).

Zoe Shipton, Professor of Geological Engineering at the University of Strathclyde and Chair of the Science Advisory Group for the observatories said: “One of our biggest climate change challenges is how to decarbonise our heat. We need to develop low carbon heat sources that are safe, reliable, affordable and close to the consumer. More than likely this means that they will come from below our towns and cities.

“The research at the UK Geonergy Observatory in Glasgow will contribute a vital body of evidence on what the potential solutions are and how to do them safely and with minimal impact on the environment.”

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