AquaCOM aims to facilitate the uptake of aquathermal heating and cooling systems by energy communities in North-West Europe, through the development of replicable governance and technical models, and training and capacity-building activities.

AquaCOM is an Interreg North West Europe project, led by Ballyhoura Development with partners from Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands and France. 

What is Aquathermal Energy ?

Aquathermal energy (AT) extracts heat or cold from water - surface water from rivers, canals, lakes, etc, heat pumps are then used to upgrade the thermal energy and provide it to heat networks.

Although AT technology has been developed, there are several barriers to its large-scale adoption to power small scale district heating networks:

  • lack of clarity and lack of legislation and regulations in many NWE regions;
  • difficulties in identifying the potential and amount of energy that can be generated from different water sources;
  • the lack of repeatable, scalable application concepts.

Project Strategies:

Achieving the EU 2030 and 2050 targets of reduced dependence on fossil fuels, accelerating a citizen-driven energy transition, and increasing energy resilience require adaptation to and application of multiple renewable energy sources. 3 aquathermal energy demonstration projects will act as a proof of concept for community-led aquathermal energy systems to power community led district heating systems.

This project aims to increase the number of energy communities engaged in aquathermal energy projects and will include a learning network with visits to the pilot sites, a virtual aquathermal energy competence centre and masterclasses.

The project includes an analysis of challenges and enabling factors in the various countries and also aims to effect policy change nationally and internationally to better enable the uptake of Aquathermal energy by energy communities.

Contributing to SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

By aligning with Sustainable Development Goal 7—Affordable and Clean Energy—AquaCOM contributes to the broader vision of a sustainable and resilient future.

There is a lot of potential for communities in Ballyhoura and across Ireland to learn from the transnational expertise of countries and partners with more experience in Aquathermal energy such as in Belgium and the Netherlands. 

For any further information about the AquaCOM project, please contact Catherine Smyth at [email protected].