According to The New York Times, advocates for geothermal energy say that the path of destruction cut by Hurricane Sandy, which unearthed fuel tanks, ravaged cooling towers and battered air-conditioners, has already persuadedsome building owners to switch to geothermal systemsthat use underground pipes to harness the earth’s energy for heating and cooling buildings.
Half-empty and empty oil tanks were found floating
around flooded areas after the storm. Since geothermal does not use fossil
fuels and has no mechanical systems exposed to the elements, Sandy victims soon
began making inquiries about geothermal systems just days after the storm.
Because digging geothermal wells can be expensive and
logistically difficult, the systems have been slow to catch on in New York
City, The New York Times reported. Yet over the last decade, the
number of geothermal heat pump systems in the city has grown steadily. More
geothermal systems are installed in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania than
anywhere else in the United States. Most systems are being installed in
institutional buildings, multifamily residential buildings and relatively small