According to the Energy Efficiency Market Report published by the International Energy Agency, "investments in energy efficiency provide such massive savings that the energy saved actually completely eclipses the energy generated by most forms of generation. This “first fuel” is incredibly important to the world’s efforts to reduce fossil fuel use and carbon emissions and should be focused on even more, the new report argues."
GCHP system installations have contributed a significant percentage of the energy efficiency. In 2009 alone, approximately 115,000 heat pump systems were installed in the U.S., 16,000 systems in Canada and an estimated 106,000 in the European Union. Each installation extracted an estimated 12,000 kWh from the ground. That's energy that didn't have to be produced by generating stations or fossil fuels. That's over 2.8 billion kWh of free renewable energy taken from the ground in North America and Europe, or about $200 million worth of free energy.
Each GCHP installation reduced peak demand to the electric grid by an estimated 8 kW. With 237,000 systems installed in 2009, that's the equivalent of 2 hydro-electric dams, or several wind farms or gas fired generating stations that didn't have to be built to meet the demand.
And the interesting thing is that these systems can reduce energy consumption regardless of the wind blowing or the sun shining. GCHP system installations continue to increase and contribute to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and continue to add to our global energy supply by taking advantage of the energy under our feet.
In my blog I'll be expressing my opinions about what I've the learned about ground coupled heat pump (GCHP) systems over the last 30 years. I've been very fortunate to work with many interesting people who are passionate about this technology...engineers, geologists, mechanical contractors, drillers, excavation contractors...in different parts of the world. I've learned a lot from them and will be using this forum to pass on some of the things I've learned and feel are important. Please feel free to use this information if you feel it's worthwhile...hopefully you can avoid some of the same mistakes I've learned from.