Geothermal Systems Combat Global Warming
Lower GHG Emissions Ground-source heat pumps can reduce GHG emissions by two–thirds or more compared with conventional heating and cooling systems. A school with an earth energy system consuming 40 percent less energy than a similar facility with conventional systems would prevent more than 1.7 million kg of carbon dioxide from being emitted into the atmosphere over the building’s 20-year lifespan.
“By using this innovative technology, consumers save money while we all enjoy environmental and energy benefits,” said Ralph Goodale, former minister of NRCan, at the time of the announcement. “Renewable forms of energy, like geothermal, emit little or no greenhouse gases and will play an increasingly important role in our national response to the climate change challenge.”
“EES’s are environmentally friendly because approximately two-thirds of the energy they deliver comes from renewable energy within the ground. This indirect use of solar energy comes from the capability of the earth’s crust to store solar energy. In fact, the earth is a massive solar energy collector that absorbs 46 percent of the sun’s energy that radiates to earth, which amounts to more than 500 times more energy than the earth’s population needs every year.”
— From NRCAN’s publication “Commercial Earth Energy Systems: A Buyers Guide.”
A 2004 report, prepared by the David Suzuki Foundation for the Province of Ontario, states:
“Geothermal heat pumps (GHP’s) are the most energy-efficient, cost effective and environmentally friendly home heating and cooling systems available.”
What about Greenhouse Gas Emissions?
Answer: The David Suzuki Foundation report states:
“Compared with electric heating and cooling, GHP can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 75% (depending on the fuel used for generation; when displacing carbon based fuels the reductions are at the highest level)… each ‘basic’ residence would avoid combustion of 1,685m3 to 3,064m3 of natural gas per year.”
Since GeoTility started installing geothermal systems in 1990, the resulting green house gas emission reductions equal over 50,000 tons annually.
According to data supplied by Natural Resources Canada and by the U.S. Department of Energy and EPA, if just 100,000 homes converted to geoexchange, Canada could reduce its CO2 emissions by 400,000 tonnes. That would be the equivalent of planting more than 120,000 acres of trees.
“Climate change is a monumental challenge that means we have to think beyond the present
and to imagine and plan for the type of future that we want the next generation of British
Columbians to inherit.”