INCLUDE Project – Durham University

This research is funded by the Research Council of Norway through the ‘Include’ Research Centre for Socially Inclusive Energy Transitions ( and the EPSRC National Centre for Energy Systems Integration (

Inclusive planning for a low-carbon future.
A research project funded by the INCLUDE research centre for socially-inclusive energy transitions


In 2019 Durham County Council declared a climate emergency and set a target of making the county carbon neutral by 2050. As part of this plan the council’s Low Carbon Economy unit produced a Climate Emergency Response Plan in 2020 detailing more than a hundred projects that the council and their partners will undertake to achieve this goal.

Several of the Council’s proposed projects involve using warm water from County Durham’s mines to heat homes and other buildings. This technology is known as geothermal mine-water heating, and the council and their various partners stress it will not just reduce the county’s generation of carbon but will improve the lives of those dwelling in former mining communities. The INCLUDE project team would like to know more about what life and work in these mines and the communities adjoining them was like. We would like to hear from the Institute’s members and the wider public what their opinions about such heated mine water schemes, and how they think these projects may impact their lives.

The INCLUDE project team is led by Professor Simone Abram and is based at Durham University’s Energy Institute. The team’s researcher, Dr Anyadike-Danes, is using a mixture of interviews and observations to investigate the projects the Durham County Council is implementing. In particular, Abram and Anyadike-Danes are interested in whether the Low Carbon Economy unit’s projects are socially inclusive i.e., meeting county residents very varied socio-economic needs.

The INCLUDE project team intend to use the insights gained from this research to inform policy and practise relating to the implementation of local government policy to secure a socially-just energy transition.

As part of the study, Dr Anyadike-Danes would like to virtually interview those who’ve worked at mines associated with proposed mine-water heat projects at Dawdon and Stanley, and the Hawthorne Combined Mine near Murton.

The key research questions for this project are:
1. What is the significance of mining for your community and your life?
2. Have you heard about heated mine water and what impact do you think it might have on your life?
3. Have you been involved or included in council plans for a greener future?

Contact Details

To take part in this research please contact Professor Simone Abram ( at the Durham Energy Institute (Durham University).

Call Documents and Further Resources:

Participant Information Sheet: Socially Inclusive Energy Transitions: A Study of Local Authority Climate Action
Participant Consent Form: Socially Inclusive Energy Transitions: A Study of Local Authority Climate Action

Ethics Statement

This project has been ethically approved via Durham University’s Department for Anthropology Research Ethics Committee. The department’s Research Ethics Committee monitors the application and delivery of the University’s Ethics Review Procedure within the department.

Comments are closed