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The district heating network of Heerlen: from flooded coal mines to circular district heating

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Now that the gas tap is turned off, new innovative energy sources are needed to heat our homes, offices and other buildings. One of these new energy sources is the circular district heating network of Mijnwater B.V in Netherlands.


What started as a way to use groundwater in mines to heat and cool buildings in Heerlen has grown into perhaps the most innovative district heating network in Europe. When the coal mines in South Limburg were closed in the late 1960s, the galleries were filled with groundwater that was naturally heated by geothermal energy. In 2003, the municipality of Heerlen decided to drill a number of exploratory wells in the mines as part of sustainable energy production. It soon became clear that the mine water could be used to heat and cool buildings in a sustainable manner (...)


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