Geothermal Heat Pumps is a Promising Clean Cooling and Heating Technology

A time-tested clean heating and cooling technology with untapped potential.

The age of the electric heat pump is well underway. This clean heating and cooling technology has been in use for decades and is widely adopted across Asia and parts of Europe such as Norway where heat pumps heat and cool 60 percent of its buildings. However, it’s only recently that advances in its technology have spurred more home and building owners in the United States to realize the outsized economic, health, and climate benefits of going electric.

Today, the heat pump market is booming. Sales in Europe last year rose to a record high with a 37 percent increase from 2021. In the United States, heat pump sales outpaced gas furnaces for the first time in decades. With new tax credits and upfront rebates in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA — the climate bill passed in 2022), the stage is set for further ramping up equitable building electrification. One key technology that has received less attention but has untapped potential to bring the immense benefits of clean heating and cooling to millions of people is the geothermal heat pump, also commonly referred to as a ground-source heat pump.

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