Geothermal Micro Districts Replace Aging Natural Gas Infrastructure

Date and Time
October 23, 2020 02:30 PM (PDT)–03:30 PM (PDT)
Natural gas is considered a vital source of energy for heating in Northern Climates, accounting for about half of the heating and electrical generation in Massachusetts. However, like most of the country, Massachusetts has an aged natural gas piping infrastructure, with more than 6,000 miles of failing and leak-prone pipes, more than 25% of the system. Based on this information, the Home Energy Efficiency Team has estimated that it will take 20 years to complete at a cost of more than $9 billion. Natural Gas (NG) is flammable and poses safety risks. Natural gas is also a contributor of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In addition to carbon emissions from combustion, gas leaks release methane, a GHG that is 34 times more potent CO2 during the first 100 years it is in the atmosphere [Plant et al, 2019]. This abstract is based on following the efforts going on in Massachusetts. It presents the case that replacing aging gas infrastructure in Massachusetts with street-scale geothermal heat pump (GHP) systems, or “GeoMicroDistricts” will increase public health and safety, reduce GHG emissions, facilitate a faster and more equitable transition to renewable energy, electrify the buildings (no on-site emissions from combustion heating), and create a transition of work for the NG companies and their employees.
Session Code