Colorado is ready to help pay for geothermal heating and cooling systems
Colorado is ready to help pay for geothermal heating and cooling ... Colorado Public Radio
Colorado Launches Grant Program to Promote Sustainable Energy Projects
The state of Colorado has announced a new grant program aimed at promoting sustainable energy projects. The program is part of the state’s commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations.
Eligible Applicants and Project Categories
The grant program is open to a wide range of applicants, including developers, building owners, local governments, contractors, and private start-ups. The program will support projects in two categories: ground-source heat pumps and geothermal electricity generation.
Prioritizing Low-Income Communities
The Colorado Energy Office will prioritize projects that benefit low-income communities, which are often the most affected by pollution. In the first round of funding, $250,000 will be set aside specifically for geothermal heat pumps at individual buildings in these communities.
Ground-Source Heat Pumps
Ground-source heat pumps are a well-developed technology that uses stable temperatures just below the ground to heat and cool buildings. These systems draw heat from underground pipes in the winter and dump heat from buildings back into the earth in the summer. While ground-source heat pumps are more expensive upfront, they are far more efficient than air-source heat pumps. Broader adoption of ground-source heat pumps can help reduce energy bills and protect the electric grid from high demand in the winter.
Shared Network of Underground Pipes
A shared network of underground pipes can provide heating and cooling for multiple buildings. For example, Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction relies on an interconnected system to heat 16 different buildings, resulting in significant energy cost savings of nearly $12 million since 2008.
Challenges in Geothermal Power Generation
Geothermal power plants have faced challenges in the United States, with only 0.4 percent of electricity coming from geothermal sources as of 2022, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. One issue is the controversy surrounding the use of hot water from geothermal resources, as seen in local communities like Chaffee County in Colorado.
Enhanced Geothermal as an Alternative
An alternative approach is “enhanced geothermal,” which involves pumping fluid into deep wells, heating it into steam, and recovering it to generate electricity. This method has the potential to provide 24/7 clean energy but requires companies to dig more than 4,000 feet underground, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Reducing Risk for Geothermal Projects
The grant program aims to reduce the risk for companies interested in drilling test wells for enhanced geothermal projects. Additionally, starting next summer, Colorado will launch a separate tax credit program to offset the cost of investing in geothermal electricity projects and generating power with this novel resource.
SDGs, Targets, and Indicators
1. Which SDGs are addressed or connected to the issues highlighted in the article?
- SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
- SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
The article discusses the use of ground-source heat pumps and geothermal electricity generation as sustainable energy solutions for buildings. This aligns with SDG 7, which aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all. Additionally, the article mentions the use of interconnected systems to provide heating and cooling for multiple buildings, contributing to SDG 11’s goal of making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.
2. What specific targets under those SDGs can be identified based on the article’s content?
- SDG 7.2: Increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix
- SDG 11.6: Reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management
The article highlights the potential of geothermal energy as a renewable energy source, which contributes to SDG 7.2’s target of increasing the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. It also emphasizes the energy efficiency and environmental benefits of ground-source heat pumps, which can help reduce the adverse environmental impact of buildings and improve air quality in cities, aligning with SDG 11.6.
3. Are there any indicators mentioned or implied in the article that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets?
Yes, there are indicators mentioned in the article that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets. These include:
- Percentage of electricity generated from geothermal sources
- Number of buildings using ground-source heat pumps
- Reduction in energy costs for buildings using interconnected systems
The article mentions that as of 2022, only 0.4 percent of electricity in the U.S. came from geothermal sources, indicating the need to increase this percentage to measure progress towards SDG 7.2. The number of buildings adopting ground-source heat pumps can be used as an indicator to track progress towards SDG 11.6. Additionally, the article highlights the energy cost savings achieved by Colorado Mesa University through the use of interconnected systems, which can serve as an indicator of progress towards SDG 11.6.
4. Table: SDGs, Targets, and Indicators
|SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy||Increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix (SDG 7.2)||– Percentage of electricity generated from geothermal sources|
|SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities||Reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management (SDG 11.6)||– Number of buildings using ground-source heat pumps
– Reduction in energy costs for buildings using interconnected systems
Behold! This splendid article springs forth from the wellspring of knowledge, shaped by a wondrous proprietary AI technology that delved into a vast ocean of data, illuminating the path towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Remember that all rights are reserved by SDG Investors LLC, empowering us to champion progress together.
Join us, as fellow seekers of change, on a transformative journey at https://sdgtalks.ai/welcome, where you can become a member and actively contribute to shaping a brighter future.