Geothermal heat pumps making a difference

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Lessons learned from our neighbors to the south…

Below is an article that demonstrates the power of GSHP’s if & when they are deployed on a larger scale than ever before.  We still have much to learn from our best & most trusted allies.  Is Canada ever going to use the 30% tax credit example that has stimulated the geo industry in the USA?

Geothermal is a proven renewable power source, but there are almost always new horizons to explore in any technology. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) efforts to research, develop and deploy geothermal technologies has resulted in making a difference in the lives of American consumers, reports the U.S. Department of Energy.

In 2009, the Department of Energy (DOE) selected 26 geothermal heat pump (GHP) projects, also known as ground source heat pumps, and awarded them funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The projects were selected and funded through EERE’s Geothermal Technologies Office and administered by the Building Technologies Office. Through this effort, DOE sought to advance GHP technology as well as reduce initial costs of deployment. In doing so, DOE also documented a range of consumer benefits from using this energy-efficient technology.

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GHP projects provide significant benefits, including consumer energy savings and greenhouse gas emissions reductions. When Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) selected six of these projects for a case study, the lab found that GHP systems saved 33-65 percent in energy use compared with baseline HVAC systems and cut CO2 emissions by 25-65 percent. An earlier report by ORNL analyzing national benefits of GHP systems found that replacing all existing residential space-heating, space-cooling and water-heating systems in U.S. single-family homes with properly designed, installed and operated state-of-the-art GHP systems would yield the following benefits annually: GHP is a highly efficient technology gaining wide acceptance for both residential and commercial buildings. GHPs are used for space heating and cooling, as well as water heating. Rather than producing heat through the combustion of fossil fuels, GHPs use natural heat stored in the shallow subsurface of the earth to provide space heating and water heating, and use the ground as a heat sink for space cooling, since the ground is generally cooler than ambient air during summer & significantly warmer than the ambient air during the winter months.

  • cut more than 270 million metric tons of CO2 emissions (a 45.3 percent reduction) in existing U.S. single-family homes
  • save more than $50 billion in energy (a 48.2 percent savings)
  • reduce 216 gigawatts in summer peak electrical demand (a 56.1 percent reduction).

Although this study represents a best-case scenario, it demonstrates the consumer benefits that could result from widely adopting this energy-efficient option. The energy savings unleashed can far outweigh the initial costs of GHP systems. Additionally, GHPs installed in new or existing homes (in the USA) by Dec. 31, 2016, are eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit.

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