June 2, 2009

U.S. aids renewable energy heating/cooling

U.S. Energy Department Secretary Steve Chu announced nearly $50 million in funding to advance commercial use of renewable energy heating and cooling systems.

Chu, who made the Tuesday announcement during a visit to a Fort Wayne, Ind., geothermal heating pump factory, said the money from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act will aid in the development of heating and cooling systems that use geothermal energy and will also help create new jobs while reducing the use of fossil fuels.

The heat from the Earth represents a significant energy resource that can be tapped to reduce emissions contributing to climate change. Chu said. Expanded use of (geothermal heating pumps) in the United States will create new jobs for engineers, manufacturers and technicians, while at the same broadening our nation's clean and renewable energy portfolio.

Geothermal heat pumps, also called ground-source heat pumps, can be more efficient than air-source heat pumps that are commonly found in commercial and residential applications and can also substantially reduce building-related electricity demand and maintenance costs, officials said.