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Thermal energy from Swiss lakes: new website launched

January 17, 2018 | Irene Bättig

How much thermal energy from Swiss lakes can be exploited without having an impact on their ecosystems? Eawag was commissioned by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) to estimate the potentials with the larger lakes and rivers.

The results for 36 lakes, 57 rivers and 9 lake outflows are now available online. The interactive map of potential provides planners, specialist agencies and interested members of the public with information on how much thermal energy can be drawn off or introduced into a body of water. The site also contains basic facts on the individual waterbodies, such as flow volumes and temperature profiles, as well as estimates of the local demand for warm and cold water. Using a mathematical model, specialists can also simulate how the cooler or warmer water that is introduced into a waterbody will be distributed.

An additional map provides an overview of the thermal plants already planned for certain bodies of water. Along with general technical information and current research results, the website also offers specialists a comprehensive knowledge base for planning further projects.

Potential for utilization of thermal energy from Swiss lakes and rivers in the context of local demand.