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Industry News

First It Was A Typo In Congress — Now It Will Cost Real Jobs

Congress has passed on its last chance to help blue-collar manufacturers of geothermal pumps and fuel cells by making a correction — promised for a year — to a spending bill screwup.

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NY-GEO Cheers Gov. Cuomo’s Program to Rescue Geo Jobs

Feb. 7, 2017 – New York Geothermal Energy Association (NY-GEO) leaders, members and supporters applauded Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s proposed program to rescue geothermal jobs in New York State. The plan provides $15 million for geothermal heating and cooling rebates to stimulate the clean energy economy.

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Geothermal Moves on Without Tax Credits

The 30 percent residential and 10 percent commercial federal tax credits for geothermal heat pump (GHP) systems expired Dec. 31, 2016. Since the tax credits went into effect in 2008, many contractors have experienced a significant boost in their geothermal businesses. And, now that the geothermal tax credits have lapsed, contractors and manufacturers are prepared to continue forward without them.

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Climate Change And President Obama's Action Plan

The United States is leading global efforts to address the threat of climate change. President Obama is taking the biggest step yet to combat climate change by finalizing America’s clean power plan, which sets the first-ever carbon pollution standards for power plants.

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Celebrate National Geothermal Day on October 20, 2015

National Geothermal Day aims to raise awareness about environmental and economic benefits of geothermal energy and its vital role in building a clean and secure energy future.

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Geothermal heat pumps (GHPs), sometimes referred to as GeoExchange, earth-coupled, ground-source, or water-source heat pumps, have been in use since the late 1940s. They use the constant temperature of the earth as the exchange medium instead of the outside air temperature. This allows the system to reach fairly high efficiencies (300% to 600%) on the coldest winter nights, compared to 175% to 250% for air-source heat pumps on cool days.

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Geothermal heat pumps key to meeting President Obama’s energy efficiency goals

“Geothermal heat pumps are one of the most efficient ways to provide heating and cooling to homes, schools, and hospitals, as well as commercial and government buildings. We are talking about building energy savings from about 45 percent to more than 70 percent,” said NGWA Chief Executive Officer Kevin McCray, CAE, reacting to President Obama’s comments on energy efficiency during his State of the Union speech Tuesday night.

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California Passes Geo Heat Pump Bill: AB2339

Championed by the California Geothermal Heat Pump Lobby Coalition (CalGeo), AB 2339 (Williams/V.M. Perez) passed in the Senate on Aug. 28 with a 36-0 vote then returned to the Assembly the following day where it also passed unanimously with a 79-0 vote.

The bill requires the California Energy Commission, in consultation with the Public Utilities Commission, the Air Resources Board and other stakeholders, to evaluate and recommend policies for overcoming barriers to expanded use of geothermal heat pumps in the Golden State.

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Maryland Governor O’Malley Signs Landmark Geothermal Heat Pump Bill

HB 1186 was signed into law on May 22, 2012, the day that Maryland became the first state in the country to make the energy generated by Geothermal Heating and Cooling (GHC) technologies eligible for the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) as a Tier 1 renewable source. To qualify, the GHC technologies must meet ENERGY STAR standards and displace electric or non-natural gas fossil fuel heating, and/or old and presumed inefficient air conditioning

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With Energy in Focus, Heat Pumps Win Fans

The business for ground-source heat pumps is so hot that when some people driving in and around Seattle see Gerard Maloney’s EarthHeat van, with the company’s phone number on the side, they call from their cell phones. “Really, we have people doing this,” Mr. Maloney said.

Like other energy alternatives, ground-source heat pumps have won new admirers as energy costs have skyrocketed.

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High Fuel Costs Have More Homeowners Eyeing Geothermal Heat

When it comes to heating and cooling homes, schools and even penguins at Woodland Park Zoo, a growing number of people are turning to a source as old as the Earth itself: geothermal heat.

Redmond High School has used a geothermal heating system since 2003, saving the Lake Washington School District an estimated $66,000 a year. District officials are so sold on the technology that they plan to use it at a new high school and elementary school.

A $6.5 million penguin exhibit at the zoo in Seattle will be heated and cooled with a geothermal system when it opens next year. Zoo officials expect the savings in electricity over the 20-year life of the exhibit will be equal to the cost of powering 43 homes for a year.

And in growing numbers, homeowners who have seen fuel costs climb through the roof in the past year are casting a curious eye beneath their feet as they seek ways to save money.

"It seems like the floodgates have opened," said Gerard Maloney, owner of EarthHeat, a Duvall company that has been installing commercial and residential geothermal systems for more than 10 years. "When [gasoline] hit $4.50 a gallon, the phone started ringing off the hook."

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How Heat Pumps Achieve Energy Savings and CO2 Emissions Reduction:

This section gives a brief introduction to heat pumps. Based on 6 basic facts about heat supply the value of heat pumps is discussed. It is argued that heat pumps are very energy efficient, and therefore environmentally benign.

Six Basic Facts About Heating

Through this unique ability, heat pumps can radically improve the energy efficiency and environmental value of any heating system that is driven by primary energy resources such as fuel or power. The following 6 facts should be considered when any heat supply system is designed:

  1. Direct combustion to generate heat is never the most efficient use of fuel;
  2. Heat pumps are more efficient because they use renewable energy in the form of low-temperature heat;
  3. If the fuel used by conventional boilers were redirected to supply power for electric heat pumps, about 35 to 50% less fuel would be needed, resulting in 35 to 50% less emissions;
  4. Around 50% savings are made when electric heat pumps are driven by CHP (combined heat and power or cogeneration) systems;
  5. Whether fossil fuels, nuclear energy, or renewable power is used to generate electricity, electric heat pumps make far better use of these resources than do resistance heaters;
  6. The fuel consumption, and consequently the emissions rate, of an absorption or gas-engine heat pump is about 35-50% less than that of a conventional boiler.

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