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.
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.
The research firm forecasts that the total worldwide capacity for geothermal direct use applications will increase by 179 percent during the same period.
Industry analyst Mackinnon Lawrence said: â€œThe potential for geothermal heat pumps is high, but installations currently represent just 1 percent of the heating and cooling market.
â€œHowever, 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.â€
Pike Research anticipates that heat pumps will represent a significant majority of the global market for such direct use applications, accounting for 84 percent of total capacity. Other key segments include bathing and swimming applications and space (district) heating.
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