Last week, the Dutch city of Heerlen opened the world’s first geothermal power station that uses water heated in old coalmine shafts. The power station works by pumping water up from 800 meters deep in the mines. At that depth, the water reaches a temperature of 35 C (95 F). It heats 350 homes and is pumped back into the mines after use, where it recirculates two to three times a year.
Scientists working on the project say that it will produce 55 percent fewer CO2 emissions than a coal-fired power station. They are working on a carbon capture system for the geothermal power station— but such systems can take many years to get going.
The only major drawback to the project is that homes can only use the power station’s heat if they are close to the mines. But in old mining towns with lots of jobless residents, geothermal projects such as Heerlen’s could be just the thing to get the local economy moving.
Photo credit: The Minewater Project
I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...
Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.