We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Durham University News


National Energy Champion award for geothermal researcher

(13 November 2019)

Dr Charlotte Adams (centre) receives her EI Energy Champion award

Research into the potential of using geothermal energy as a low-carbon heat source has won a national award for one of our leading researchers.

Dr Charlotte Adams has been named “Energy Champion” by the UK Energy Institute.

The award recognises Charlotte’s work on sustainable, low carbon, heating using water from abandoned former coalmines.

Geothermal energy

Heat production accounts for over half of the UK’s energy demand and currently most of this is met by burning gas – a major contributor to greenhouse gases.

Research by Charlotte and her colleagues has found that water within former coalmines could provide enough geothermal energy to meet the UK’s demand for heat for more than 100 years.

Water is pumped from under the ground and the heat is extracted using heat pumps before being returned to the ground.

Cleaner heat source

As the Earth warms the water naturally, geothermal provides the opportunity to heat homes and businesses with a much lower carbon footprint.

As well as helping to providing a reliable, cleaner source of heat, geothermal energy also has the potential to reduce the UK’s reliance on imported gas from other countries.

Find out more

Dr Charlotte Adams is a Fellow of our Durham Energy Institute (DEI), Assistant Professor (Research) in our Department of Earth Sciences, Research Associate in our Department of Engineering and Research Manager at BritGothermal.

Read a Q&A with Charlotte into the energy potential in abandoned coal mines.

Listen to Charlotte talking about the potential of geothermal energy.

Find out more about the DEI’s research into geothermal energy.

The UK Energy Institute Awards are made to researchers “who are shaping the world’s energy future”. The Energy Institute is a chartered professional membership body bringing global energy expertise together.

Events at Durham University

Check out our new What's On guide to keep up-to-date with dance, drama, lectures, exhibitions, family activities and much more.