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Energies 2014, 7(7), 4241-4260; doi:10.3390/en7074241

Estimating Limits for the Geothermal Energy Potential of Abandoned Underground Coal Mines: A Simple Methodology

Oviedo School of Mines, University of Oviedo, Independencia 13, Oviedo 33004, Spain
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Received: 30 April 2014 / Revised: 7 June 2014 / Accepted: 17 June 2014 / Published: 2 July 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geothermal Energy: Delivering on the Global Potential)
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Abstract

Flooded mine workings have good potential as low-enthalpy geothermal resources, which could be used for heating and cooling purposes, thus making use of the mines long after mining activity itself ceases. It would be useful to estimate the scale of the geothermal potential represented by abandoned and flooded underground mines in Europe. From a few practical considerations, a procedure has been developed for assessing the geothermal energy potential of abandoned underground coal mines, as well as for quantifying the reduction in CO2 emissions associated with using the mines instead of conventional heating/cooling technologies. On this basis the authors have been able to estimate that the geothermal energy available from underground coal mines in Europe is on the order of several thousand megawatts thermal. Although this is a gross value, it can be considered a minimum, which in itself vindicates all efforts to investigate harnessing it. View Full-Text
Keywords: geothermal energy; mine water; coal mines; abandoned mines geothermal energy; mine water; coal mines; abandoned mines
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MDPI and ACS Style

Díez, R.R.; Díaz-Aguado, M.B. Estimating Limits for the Geothermal Energy Potential of Abandoned Underground Coal Mines: A Simple Methodology. Energies 2014, 7, 4241-4260.

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