Department Surface Waters - Research and Management

Using Lakes for heating and cooling


Deep lakes can be used as important sources or sinks of heat for heating and cooling purposes. This is a previously neglected renewable energy source. Recently, several new projects have been developed to use lakes in Switzerland for heating or cooling purposes. As a consequence, public awareness of this potential energy source has also increased.

We have investigated the potential of different individual lakes, such as Lakes Constance or Zug, as energy sources for heating and cooling purposes in previous consulting and research projects. In a next step, the potential for using lakes and rivers in Switzerland as sources and sinks of heat will be assessed in a project financed by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment.

Key publication

Fink, G.; Schmid, M.; Wüest, A. (2014) Large lakes as sources and sinks of anthropogenic heat: capacities and limits, Water Resources Research, 50(9), 7285-7301, doi:10.1002/2014WR015509, Institutional Repository