BOULDER, Colo. — Geothermal heat pump (GHP) systems are being installed in nearly every region of the world and in residential, commercial, institutional, and industrial applications with great success, according to a Navigant Research report. Despite recent setbacks in deployments due to the economic downturn, the future looks bright for the global GHP market. The research firm forecasts that worldwide installed capacity of GHP systems will grow by nearly 150 percent over the next seven years, from 52.7 gigawatts-thermal (GWt) to 127.4 GWt.

“The renewable energy policies that led to strong growth in the GHP market in the last decade are still in place, and will drive expansion as the global economy improves,” said Mackinnon Lawrence, principal research analyst with Navigant Research. “Although their overall penetration remains low, GHP installations are gaining traction in both the construction industry and the regulatory environment, and this high-efficiency technology will likely play a larger role in both new build and retrofit projects going forward.”

In some ways, the fortunes of the GHP market are tied to that of the housing market, says the report — as the number of housing starts increases, so do the opportunities for installers and engineers of GHP systems to deploy their technology. Yet, a number of factors affect a homeowner’s or residential developer’s decision to deploy GHPs in a project, including quality of construction, construction budget, ease of getting a loan, and importance of green image. Thus, while the rate of housing starts has grown steadily over the last two years, the rate of GHP deployments has not kept pace, the study concludes.

Publication date: 11/18/2013

Want more HVAC industry news and information? Join The NEWS on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn today!