MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — With heating and cooling accounting for 40 to 50 percent of power consumption in nonresidential buildings, it highlights the need to increase energy efficiency in these buildings, and geothermal heating and cooling may hold the key, according to a new analysis from Frost & Sullivan.

“Geothermal heating and cooling is an excellent way to conserve energy while employing the earth as the chief energy transfer base,” said Konkana Khaund, Frost & Sullivan energy and environment industry manager. “Despite its huge initial costs, its higher energy efficiency and long-term cost savings are capturing the attention of environmentally conscious end users.”

Frost & Sullivan noted that the geothermal market is reined back by the high capital required to install the technology.

“Nonresidential users are in a better position to invest the capital and gain strong returns on investments in just a couple of years,” said Anu Cherian, senior industry analyst. “However, most end users are inclined towards ‘short termism’ and do not perceive the long-term benefits of investing in this technology.”

Apart from tight spending from end users, the highly competitive geothermal heating and cooling market is also challenged by price wars. To differentiate, Frost & Sullivan said manufacturers need to educate their potential end users about the lifecycle cost savings that can be accrued by investing in geothermal technologies. Installing such environmentally friendly products will also make building owners eligible for tax rebates and incentives.

Overall, geothermal heating and cooling technology’s benefits are expected to attract customers from across segments. Some of these benefits include long lifecycles, reliability, decrease in energy cost, the ability to comply with energy efficiency requirements, and the positive impact on the environment.

Publication date: 9/2/2013

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