Research and Development (R&D) Roadmap: Geothermal (Ground-Source) Heat Pumps
December 13, 2012
Geothermal Heat Pumps (GHP) first gained popularity during the energy crisis in the 1970’s, but despite having proven energy savings, the high cost of GHP systems has hindered penetration. In 2008, for the first time, contractors reached more than 100,000 installations per year in the U.S.
In this roadmap, identified initiatives to address the major unfulfilled needs regarding the latest equipment, critical gaps in knowledge and tools, and market transformation activities related to these areas.
In reviewing prior research, four key, consensus barriers emerged from multiple studies, including:
- High first costs for ground loops (installation-specific design and cost of drilling/trenching) limit national energy savings versus ultra‐high‐efficiency Air-Source Heat Pumps, which generally provide shorter payback periods
- Low market awareness and lack of knowledge/trust in GHP benefits by consumers, policymakers and regulators
- GHP installation infrastructure limitations, including limited numbers of qualified installers
- GHP design and business-planning-infrastructure limitations