Erda Energy, the clean energy solutions company specialising in geo-exchange technology, estimates that its technology is now saving around 6,700 tonnes CO2 every year, equivalent to taking over 5,000 new cars off the UK’s roads annually (see SMMT New Car Report and DfT National Travel Survey). As the company passes its 28,000th cumulative tonne of carbon saved, it calls for a broader programme of electrification to decarbonise Britain’s heat.
In 2016, compared to a gas boiler, Erda Energy’s geo-exchange systems saved on average 0.7 tonnes of CO2 per hour (tCO2/h), by 2017 this average was 0.78 tCO2/h and already in 2018, the average stands at 0.81 tCO2/h. In line with falling grid emissions as the UK’s electrical grid becomes cleaner and cleaner, so too does geo-exchange. Altogether, in just seven years Erda Energy’s installations has avoided the need for over 205 GWh of natural gas, with its associated carbon and air pollution, by harnessing energy from the earth.
The UK Committee on Climate Change suggests that by 2030, 2.5 million heat pumps (such as those using geo-exchange) should be installed in homes and businesses to help meet our carbon goals. The latest figures from Erda Energy show the success of this approach in practice, demonstrating the effectiveness of electrification to decarbonise the UK’s heat demand, which makes up 32% of our total carbon emissions.
Urban areas such as London are increasingly identifying electric heating as a key technology for tackling climate change with a recent study for Greater London Authority concluding it would likely have a growing role for delivering low carbon heat for London.
Kevin Stickney, Managing Director of Erda Energy says, “The IPCC’s recent report joins mounting evidence indicating the imperative to decarbonise heat; what our data shows is a proven pathway to do this by leveraging a free resource right beneath our feet. Electrification works.”
“From the moment it’s switched on, geo-exchange creates an impact you can measure; reducing cost, carbon and energy consumption all at once. It is in fact so exceptionally efficient that our sites benefit from over 25 GWh of ‘free’ thermal energy from the earth each year, equivalent to heating over 2,000 medium sized, UK homes annually. This study represents just 24 new and retro-fit, large commercial sites located all across the UK. It’s the tip of the iceberg – imagine the impact of electrification on a national scale,” adds Stickney. (based on Ofgem TDCV 2017 analysis)
Geo-exchange circulates a heat-conductive liquid through boreholes into the earth, either picking up or getting rid of heat. For every 1 kWh of electricity used to circulate the liquid, over 4 kWh of heat from the earth is collected to be used for heating and hot water. Using a minimal amount of electricity to tap into this renewable heat source means geo-exchange is an exceptionally low carbon form of heating.