The Klosterstollen mine is now a functioning museum, Source: Hannover Regional Authorities

Former German mining town wants to heat buildings with mine water

Former German mining town wants to heat buildings with mine water

Hannover regional authorities have decided to fund Barsinghausen’s bid to reinvent its industrial heritage

This week, the small German town of Barsinghausen, in the Hannover region, landed a funding deal with the Hannover regional authorities for an innovative heating project. The project proposes using warm waters from the nearby now-defunct coal mine called Klosterstollen as an alternative to fossil-fuelled heating.

The funding will go into a feasibility study about how many buildings can actually be supplied with the resource. The district of Großgoltern will be the first subject of the study with the Federal-Mogul Valvetrain’s industrial complex having direct access to a mine water spring on their property.

The project will be financed through Hannover’s Region Committee for the Environment and Climate Protection to the tune of 16,000 euros. The idea is to determine if the concept has any merit and whether it can be perused in the future.

Christine Karasch, Head of the Regional Department for the Environment, was quoted in a press release explaining that around 40% of Germany’s CO2 comes from the heating sector and any sustainable innovation in the area could prove to be a significant breakthrough.

The Klosterstollen mine and the region’s deep miming traditions

Coal mining in Barsinghausen has a rich and proud history going back at least 300 years. In the 19th century, the coal extracted from the mines in the town was instrumental in fuelling the industrial revolution happening in the Hannover region, especially in Linden.

In 1856, the large Klosterstollen (Monastery tunnel) was dug right at what was then the edge of town to be able to access the rich deposits located under and around Barsinghausen.

The tunnel was exploited for the next 100 years, while, according to local historians working for the coal mining museum, around half of the city’s population was economically dependent on the coal mining industry.

The mine brought development to Barsinghausen, including a rail line, becoming a sort of symbol for the town’s ambitious aspirations to become a regional centre. But, like for many coal regions, that bright future did not come to pass, as the mine was one of the first to shut down after World War II.

Unlike many others, the Barsinghausen mine did not go through major renovations, which made it a prime candidate to become a mining museum, as mining there was done only manually. A part of the preserved shaft and some on-ground buildings from the mining complex now form the city’s mining museum.



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