Even though most universities perform research in the field of renewable and sustainable energies, their own campuses are most often supplied by fossil-based technologies.
However, several universities in particular in the Netherlands already successfully demonstrated the integration of Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage (ATES) into the heating and cooling system of a university. ATES at universities not only significantly minimized the carbon footprint of the campuses, but also reduced the expenses for heating and cooling.
However, universities are usually characterized by a great diversity of building types with various requirements with respect to varying demand patterns. Thus, the design of an ATES in combination with a heating and cooling grid is often a challenging task. The financing, which often requires a higher investment, is in addition often impeded by a complex decision-making structure. Based on the experiences gained at several project sites, this study discusses hurdles and solutions for the successful implementation of ATES at universities considering technical, financial and political issues.