Environment Agency predicts underground heating will provide a third of UK renewable heat by 2020

In the UK there are an estimated 8,000 ground source heat pumps, with a capacity of 4-12 kWth, but the Environment Agency report suggests that if Government introduce sufficient support for them, this could increase to over a million. The Renewable Heat Incentive, which will be introduced in 2012 and will pay homeowners and businesses a guaranteed price for generating renewable heat, will be the most important factor in determining how much the ground source heat pump industry grows. 

Tony Grayling, head of Climate Change and Sustainable Development at the Environment Agency said: “Ground source heating is a rapidly growing technology that has the potential to produce at least 30% of the country’s renewable heat needs, but it needs financial support in order to grow. We would like to see this technology given adequate financial support through the new renewable heat incentive to meet its full potential in the UK. 

“We have ambitious emissions reduction targets in UK, and the Environment Agency would like to see rapid growth of all low carbon energy technologies to help meet these. Any delays in reducing emissions will lead to more severe impacts of climate change.” 

The Environment Agency report ‘Ground source heating and cooling pumps: state of play and future trends’ was commissioned to assess the role ground source heating and cooling pumps could play in meeting the UK’s renewable energy targets.