Near-surface Geothermal Resources in the Territory of the Alpine Space

Open air swimming pool in Benediktbeuern (Germany)

Benediktbeuern is a municipality near the Alps in Bavaria (Germany). Some years ago a new drinking water supply was established and the old springs had to be abandoned. However, the spring water was still flowing down the mountain slope in the now unused pipe infrastructure.

In 2010 a hydrogeological office proposed a plan to thermally use the spring water with a 160kW heat pump for the heating of the municipality’s nearby open air swimming pool. Since October 2010, the municipality is saving 33.000 litre fossil fuel per heating season, which corresponds to a reduction of carbon dioxide emissions of 56.000 kg per heating season.

To put it in a nutshell, the fossil fuel demand was reduced by 75% and a reduction of CO2 emissions by 60% was achieved. This exemplary project shows imposingly the ecologic and economic advantages of exotic near-surface geothermal energy utilisations.