National Deployment of Domestic Geothermal Heat Pump Technology: Observations on the UK Experience 1995–2013
Uptake of geothermal heat pump technology in the UK and corresponding development of a domestic installation industry has progressed significantly in the last decade. This paper summarizes the growth process and reviews the research that has been specifically concerned with conditions in the UK. We discuss the driving forces behind these developments and some of the supporting policy initiatives that have been implemented. Publically funded national trials were completed to assess the performance and acceptance of the technology and validate design and installation standards. We comment on both the technical and non-technical findings of the trials and the related academic research and their relevance to standards development. A number of technical issues can be identified—some of which may be particular to the UK—and we suggest a number of research and development questions that need to be addressed further. Current national support for the technology relies solely on a tariff mechanism and it is uncertain that this will be effective enough to ensure sufficient growth to meet the national renewable heat target in 2020. A broader package of support that includes mandatory measures applied to future housing development and retrofit may be necessary to ensure long-term plans for national deployment and decarbonization of heat are achieved. Industry needs to demonstrate that efficiency standards can be assured, capital costs reduced in the medium-term and that national training schemes are effective.
Citation : Rees, S.J. and Curtis, R. (2014) National Deployment of Domestic Geothermal Heat Pump Technology: Observations on the UK Experience 1995–2013. Energies 7, pp. 5460-5499
Research Group : Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development
Peer Reviewed : Yes