Project Challanges

UK’s targets for CO2 reduction

Based on the 1990 level, the UK’s targets for CO2 reduction is as follow:

  • 34% (increased from 26%) reduction by 2020.
  • 80% (increased from 60%) reduction by 2050.

In the UK, the sector of buildings accounts for about 40% of the total energy consumption, and
almost half of the final energy consumed is in the form of heat. Its generation accounts for 47% of UK CO2 emissions. In order to achieve the national target to ensure that UK greenhouse gas emissions reduced by 34% by 2020 and 80% by 2050 (based on 1990 levels), clearly there is a need to substantially decarbonise the buildings sector. The aim is to largely replace the gas and oil boilers with low-carbon technologies by 2050.

In addition, the UK’s aim for 15% renewables by 2020.

DECC is encouraging Renewable Heat as part of the UK’s commitment to aim for the very ambitious target of 15% renewables by 2020, and is introducing the Renewable Heat Incentive.

Renewable Heat currently satisfies only 1% of heat demand.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), GSHP technology is the most energy-efficient, environmentally clean and cost-effective space conditioning system available.

The very high efficiency of heat pumps means that running costs are generally lower than other fuels off the mains gas grid e.g. oil, LPG, electric boilers and solid fuel.

Ground source heat pumps (GSHP) and air source heat pumps (ASHP) operate on the same principle like a fridge. The main advantage of ground source heat pumps over air source is that efficiencies are higher due to the fact that the depend on fairly constant temperature of the ground (>7m deep).

Heat pump system efficiency COP (Coefficient of Performance) and SPF (Seasonal Performance Factor) are strongly dependent on the temperature lift across the heat pump, i.e., the difference between the source and load temperatures (i.e., Tin,HP – TLoad) should be minimised.

The main benefit of a heat pump is that for every unit of electricity used to power the compressor, the heat pump will typically output 3-4 units of heat – making them 300-400% efficient. This compares to efficiencies of 85-95% for traditional heating systems.

Accoding to the Ground Source Heat Pump Industry Manifesto (see picture), the GSHPs installation in the UK has been declining from 4000 units in 2009 to 2000 units in 2014 . This is a result of the adverse economic conditions and high installation costs of existing vertical Ground Heat Exchanger (GHE). The major drawbacks of the vertical borehole heat exchanger are the initial drilling cost and the COP, which gradually decreases as the heat is drawn from the ground.

This project will addressed all those drawbacks, consequently the market potential of the EfficientGeoTech technology is very promising.