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Ground Source Heat Pumps: Renewable Energy Opportunities

01 · Apr · 2020
Photograph by: Regis Defurnaux

As Mongolia continues to strive towards decreasing emissions and implementing policies to mitigate climate change, it is looking into renewable technologies that can be implemented across a wide range of sectors. A new study from the NewClimate Institute examines the possibility of implementing ground source heat pumps (GSHPs) in Khovd city as a renewable technology in the building sector.

Apartment buildings in Khovd are currently heated by two outdated coal-fired heating plants, which release high concentrations of greenhouse gas  emissions and contribute directly to air pollution. In contrast to the inefficient coal heating plants, GSHPs operate by using electricity to power pumps that transfer heat from a location with a higher temperature from the ground to buildings with a lower temperature. GSHPs can further limit their carbon footprint if they are powered by renewable electricity. Mongolia has successfully implemented GSHPs in multiple projects, mainly in Ulaanbaatar.

The study assessed multiple technologies on technical, economic, and environmental factors, and found that GSHPs were the most suitable out of the options considered. Economically,  while GSHPs have higher upfront costs than other options, their total cost over a 20-year span would be lower than alternative technologies. The introduction of GSHPs would also allow local firms and residents to become familiar with renewable technology, which would enable the adoption of similar systems in the future.

Despite the suitability of GSHPs for Khovd, significant barriers still remain before they can be implemented such as its high upfront cost and the lack of technical expertise with GSHPs. Until these technical and financial barriers can be overcome, the study notes that the installation of GSHPs would most likely be in addition to the existing technology.

Read the original: Renewable heating virtual Article 6 pilot

Published on January 29, 2020 on New Climate Institute 

Translated to Mongolian by Tengis Dashmunkh
Summarized by Maddie Lee

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