From Geothermal Heating to Other Geothermal Solutions: How Much Does Geothermal Cost?
Whenever a new energy source is raised in mainstream talks, one of the first questions asked is the cost of the energy source cheaper than the current rates asked for the existing energy source? This is expected knowing that exploratory talks on alternative energy are done because of the increasing costs associated with the maintenance of the existing energy resource. One such popular alternative that is often discussed and tested is geothermal energy.
Right now there are a number of exploratory studies and tests that are made on the possibility of geothermal cooling and heating. And in line with these studies and tests, expected questions are usually floated like the cost of geothermal installation.
People are asking- how much does geothermal cost? If the costs are just the same and this can have multiple impacts on the environment, then the exploration on geothermal energy should stop. But this is not the case; as majority of the consumers and industries know now, geothermal energy holds much promise as this comes in cheaper and its generation is less complex (and cheaper) compared to some of the traditional energy and electricity sources. The only problem with this energy resource is the setting up and the installation of plants and home-based systems.
To give you a rough idea on the cost of geothermal power plants per kW, you may need to check out industry publications. In one site, for small plants (operating at less than 5 MW) the geothermal operating and maintenance cost is 0.8 to 1.4 (US cents/kWh) (REPP data).
Considerations that affect cost of geothermal heating pumps
If you are looking to add geothermal solutions for home use, and would want to have an idea regarding the geothermal heating and cooling installation cost, then keep in mind that there are a number of factors in play. Some of the things that are considered by the professionals include the land area, the boring cost and this is true if your area is limited (keep in mind that the vertical boring techniques are expensive than the horizontal ones), hot water and the heating needs. Other things that may be considered include the type of fuel that is replaced, whether you are replacing oil, LPG or coal. And of course, the current electricity costs.
In some resources, highly specific information about your home or property will have a strong influence in the cost of the geothermal heating pumps for heating solutions. For example, you will be asked about the house tightness levels whether the home is loose or tight. The area of the above livable ground will be computed and the basement area will be computed. Highly specific information about the basement may be factored in as well, whether the basement is unfinished, finished or slab on grade or crawl space.
In terms of actual price, keep in mind that the price of installing the system varies and dependent on the factors listed above, and the kind of loop system chosen. For a home that measures 2500 square feet, with the heating load of 60000 BTU the cost will start at more or less $20,000. The upfront cost may be high, but in the long run this is economical since this can reduce your utility bills by 60-40 percent!
So is geothermal energy expensive? If you are looking at long-term adoption, going geo is an important step towards energy maturity.