Step 8: Put Down a Footprint on Geothermal Heat Pumps (GHPs)
With consumer and government focus on renewable energy, energy efficiency and carbon (CO2) reduction, Prince George’s County should be positioned to take advantage of the federal, state and private dollars flowing to building a more green economy. Building/Incubating a local green industry in the county is one way to create jobs and lead the state in the research and adoption of green technology.
Geothermal heat pumps (GHPs) is, perhaps, a great opportunity to establish a leadership role – to manufacture specialty products unique to the GHP market, to research the next generation of improvements in GHPs and to adopt the technology.
Growth in the GHP market…
Today’s GHP industry is in position for rapid growth.30 GHPs may be among the most affordable renewable energy resources to adopt wide-scale, especially considering the investments in electrical transmission that will be necessary to deliver many of the best wind and solar resources to market.Nationally, $33 to 38 billion in reduced utility bills could be achieved each year through aggressive adoption of GHPs. And, potentially 35% to 40% of the projected growth in energy consumption could be offset between now and 2030.31
Geothermal is easiest technology to adopt…
The national residential market for Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) is 6.4 million “units” per year. GHPs are a small fraction of this. Every building in America sits on the ground, and the ground is generally cooler than outdoor air in the summer and warmer in the winter. GHPs use the only renewable energy resource that is available at every building’s point of use, on-demand, that cannot be depleted (assuming proper design) and is potentially affordable in all 50 states.
30 Geothermal (Ground-Source) Heat Pumps: Market Status, barriers to Adoption, and Actions to Overcome Barriers, EERE Geothermal Technologies Program, U.S. Dept. of Energy, December, 2008.