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US backs community geothermal projects to bolster decarbonisation

By District Energy posted 05-12-2022 12:03


Power Engineering International


Heating and cooling represent significant energy needs for American homes and businesses—for instance, more than half of US home energy use is for heating—and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions through the direct use of fossil fuels and electricity use.

To help reduce the energy burden—the percentage of gross household income spent on energy costs—and fossil fuel dependence for American communities, the US Deptartment of Energy intends to issue the Community Geothermal Heating and Cooling Design and Deployment Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA).

Geothermal district heating and cooling systems use geothermal energy to provide climate control to buildings, including residences and businesses, through an underground distribution network. Such systems are relatively common outside the United States, but have a comparably small presence domestically. The intended FOA will support community coalitions with community, workforce, design/analysis, and deployment expertise to implement such systems.

“By enabling communities to design and deploy community-scale geothermal heating and cooling systems, we can expand equitable energy access and foster greater local participation in the energy transition,” said principal deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy Kelly Speakes-Backman. “Wider adoption of these systems can go a long way in decarbonizing the building and electricity sectors and support the Biden Administration’s goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.”

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