Geothermal: a renewable energy with numerous advantages…

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Energy: geothermal


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CategoryPractical guidelines
ChapterHeating


geothermie

Geothermal energy is not as well known as solar or wind energy and yet this renewable energy is loaded with advantages. Completely unaffected by the vagaries of the weather, it is available year-round, 24 hours a day. It can produce either heat or electricity.

The constant rise in oil prices and commitments in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions make it even more attractive (112% increase in France for 2007).

How does geothermal energy work?

The term comes from the Greek Geo (earth) and thermo (heat). Our planet is constantly producing heat (by the slow dissipation of energy accumulated in its core and by the radioactive elements present in rocks). Geothermy consists of extracting calories from the earth and transforming them into heat using a buried pipe system. Heat is either collected horizontally or vertically according to the characteristics of the land. The installation also includes a heat pump located in a confined space, utility room, or garage.

Energy collected from the earth is free, only the heat pump’s compressor consumes electricity. The energy recovered will divide heat consumption by 4. Thanks to the tax credit, the return on investment occurs within 5 to 7 years. Some reversible devices provide heat in winter and cooling in summer. Others allow you to produce domestic hot water.

Tax incentives

Until 31.12.09, a tax credit (link to the tax credit in favour of sustainable development) of 50% is granted on the cost of materials, taxes included. For the moment, it only concerns primary residences.
The ANAH (Home Improvement Agency), ADEME (Agency for the Environment and Energy Management), EDF (electric power company), and local governments also provide financial assistance under certain conditions and depending on the region.


Updated on: 01/02/2008


And on the same subject:

T he domestic wind turbine
The photovoltaic solar tile
The bioclimatic house


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