July 26, 2011
Geothermal heat pumps and the direct utilization of geothermal resources represent a fast-growing alternative in the heating and cooling market. As demand for electricity expands throughout the world and energy prices increase, the direct use of geothermal, led primarily by heat pumps, is on the rise. An efficient and reliable option for residential, commercial, and institutional building owners, geothermal heat pumps exploit the nearly constant temperatures found just beneath the ground. While cost and lack of consumer awareness remain primary obstacles to increased adoption, tax incentives and policies supporting building efficiency improvements are helping to drive dramatic growth in the heat pump market.
According to a new report from Pike Research, geothermal heat pump sales will experience strong growth rates in the next several years, with annual unit shipments in the United States increasing from just fewer than 150,000 in 2011 to more than 326,000 units by 2017. The cleantech market intelligence firm forecasts that the total worldwide capacity for geothermal direct use applications will increase by 179% during the same period. Pike Research anticipates that heat pumps will represent a significant majority of the global market for such direct use applications, accounting for 84% of total capacity. Other key segments include bathing and swimming applications and space (district) heating.
“The potential for geothermal heat pumps is high, but installations currently represent just 1% of the heating and cooling market,” says industry analyst Mackinnon Lawrence. “However, growing electricity demand, rising energy prices, and increasing regulation around emissions and efficiency are all expected to push demand higher. Used on their own, geothermal heat pumps are capable of producing large reductions in energy use and peak demand in buildings. Used in conjunction with clean energy generation and whole-building efficiency measures, the benefits of using heat pumps increase substantially.”
Pike Research’s report, “Geothermal Heat Pumps and Direct Use”, analyzes the global market opportunity for direct utilization of geothermal energy with a primary focus on heat pumps. The study includes a comprehensive examination of direct use markets, demand drivers, existing and emerging technologies, the public policy and regulatory environment, and key industry players. Market forecasts, segmented by geography, extend through 2017 and include examinations of market dynamics in all regions worldwide. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.
Pike Research is a market research and consulting firm that provides in-depth analysis of global clean technology markets. The company’s research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Smart Energy, Smart Grid, Smart Transportation, Smart Industry, and Smart Buildings sectors. For more information, visit www.navigantresearch.com or call +1.303.997.7609.