Experts say geothermal heat poised for growth

Posted on: March 26th, 2014
Experts say geothermal heat poised for growth

Experts say geothermal heat poised for growth

From the time that geothermal heating systems first emerged, interest has been rising in these alternative and eco-friendly options. However, many consumers may still not be aware of the advantages of geothermal energy, which range from improved comfort to lower monthly bills. As the government provides tax incentives for green efforts and more homeowners become savvy about the importance of sustainable practices, it’s possible that geothermal pumps could finally become more common. So what does the future hold for these technologies, and what do they have to offer that’s superior to other heating alternatives?

Geothermal pumps on the rise
According to a recent forecast by TechNavio, the Global Geothermal Heat Pump System Market will grow at a compound annual rate of 15.5 percent between 2014 and 2018. Analysts attributed this market growth to the rising concern about reducing dependence on fossil fuels. Additionally, TechNavio noted that the geothermal heat pump market has seen a multitude of technological advancements, which have made these solutions increasingly effective and therefore, even more useful to consumers. So what’s holding back more homeowners from adopting these systems? According to the research firm, the upfront investment required could be dissuading those on a budget from switching over. However, it’s becoming clear that the potential savings that come with this technology far outweigh the initial costs.

Why green heating is gaining ground
Forbes contributor Tom Konrad explained that while geothermal heating has long been a niche market, it boasts enough benefits to become a mainstream feature. Konrad asserted that these solutions heat and cool buildings more efficiently, and additionally, are often the most economic option. In fact, he revealed that geothermal pumps can slash energy costs by up to 80 percent. Additionally, in cooling mode, a geothermal system can basically heat a home or building’s water at no additional cost. As if those weren’t adequate rewards, there is no need for unsightly above ground equipment with a geothermal system, and these technologies also greatly reduce the user’s reliance on fossil fuels.

Konrad reported that the North American geothermal market was only worth $102 million in 2012, but Frost and Sullivan predicts it will reach $148 million by 2017. This may not seem like a huge jump, but it’s apparent that attention is turning to clean energy options.

Of course, there are other eco-friendly solutions on the market, but not all of them offer the reliable savings and hassle-free installations that geothermal can provide. While some may question whether air source heat pumps pose a competitive alternative to geothermal pumps, Konrad emphasized that there is no contest. He explained that geothermal pumps can supply hot water, while air source heat pumps cannot. This winter in particular posed a strong case for adopting geothermal heating. Konrad pointed out that the frigid temperatures and heavy snowstorms that hit the Northeast as well as other regions demanded a specific kind of heat to ensure a comfortable temperature inside homes and businesses. As a geothermal system does not entail an exchanger that must be exposed to the elements, these solutions are more likely to withstand harsh winters and other extreme weather conditions. After all, the last thing a homeowner wants to do after a blizzard is have to dig their air source heat exchanger out of the snow.

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