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Coal mining in Germany

In bild der wissenschaft 2-2018 I have been reading an interesting article about coal mining in Germany. In 1969 there have been more than 50 coal mines in the Ruhr area, the last one will shutdown this year. The number of people working there went down from 500.000 in year 1957 to almost 0 this year.
But they discovered a new use for those mines: to use them as Pumped-storage hydroelectricity plants. This is an interesting thought because Germany does not have a good topology for those type of plants because we don't have that many mountains and lakes. And if it is possible to pump water into lakes located somewhere up in the mountains, why not using lakes down below the surface ?
Apparently Pumped-storage hydroelectricity becomes more and more important due to the fact that we use more and more wind and sun energy and thus need to store that energy in times when it is available.
The mine in Bottrom-Haniel is the first mine to be used for that. A ring tube will be installed 450 meter below the surface to store water, and manholes will be used to install the tubes for getting water and electricty down and up, depending on the mode of operation ( storing or releasing energy ).

Read more here: German Coal Mine to Be Reborn as Giant Pumped Storage Hydro Facility

1 blog comments below

Wow, that sounds interesting. There are many coal mines in South Africa, that are in the process of being closed or have already been closed. This sounds like an ideal way of making use of them. Wonder whether they could use this for the gold mines as the latter are a great risk for sink holes. There are plenty of old gold mines that are no longer being used, and may be able to be used for projects like these.
deanhills on Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:27 pm

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