Thursday, January 14, 2016

USA, New York: Argument for More Use of Ground Source Heat Pumps

Warming Trend: Why New York Needs to Invest in Geothermal (Observer Innovation)

St Patrick’s Cathedral – rendering of the new geothermal heating system for the church (Photo: © Murphy Burnham & Buttrick Architects

New York City has nearly 1 million buildings and nearly all of them (roughly 900,000) could be heated and cooled by the earth without burning any fossil fuels.

A recent report found that New York City was the most wasteful megacity in the world, and its buildings consume two-thirds of the energy we use. Over half of that energy is for space heating alone. Fossil fuels burnt for that purpose cause nearly 40 percent of CO2 emissions in America.

Solar, wind and hydropower are all necessary if we’re going to provide electricity without accelerating climate change, but none of these are great for heating and cooling buildings. The leading technology for this is called ground source heat pumps, which use energy from the sun’s heat trapped just below the earth’s surface. As air temperature fluctuates wildly throughout the year, the ground 20 feet below the surface stays steady, between 50 and 60 degrees.