It’s refreshing to drive 10 minutes from your home, right up to a conference venue in Orlando, and meet lots of old friends. That’s just what I got to do on May 7 at the 2016 Florida Ground Water Association’s (FGWA’s) Convention and Trade Show at the beautiful Caribe Royale Resort by Disney World.

I travel at least twice a month, with organizations such as the American Ground Water Trust (AGWT) and many others to share the good news of geothermal heating and cooling. This event was particularly special to me because of so many old friends.

Groundwater organizations are important to the geothermal community, because you folks help write and adhere to the legislation that makes our work possible. Drillers do the work that makes 90 percent of geothermal heating and cooling projects possible. Drillers and groundwater organizations are about to get more important to a lot more construction professionals. A whole lot more.

In Canada, the Ontario Government just appropriated over $7 billion in funding to ensure the switch to geothermal is 100 percent complete. They don’t want a single combustion heating device left in any home or business, period. According to The Globe and Mail, the Ontario government will spend more than $7 billion over four years on a sweeping climate change plan that will affect every aspect of life — from what people drive to how they heat their homes and workplaces — in a bid to slash the province’s carbon footprint.

That is a lot of drilling, but that’s just the beginning of it. Just south of Ontario, New York State is making sweeping changes. For the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA), workforce development is a real issue and now at the forefront of the group’s efforts to implement GHPs. The state has tasked NYSERDA with putting together the programs to ensure New York’s drillers and tradesmen are ready for growth. That growth is upon them as a result of programs such as New York’s 80x50 plan, which calls for an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050.

This remarkable growth of geothermal is sweeping the world and, as others fall in line with these new plans, we’re going to be busier than ever. Here are some particulars in Ontario’s plan that might surprise you: Ontario has set dates for natural gas (NG) phase-out by 2030, when the building code for residential and small buildings will eliminate combustion heating. By 2050, combustion heating will be outlawed in all buildings.

So what if you’ve never drilled a geothermal borefield? Easy, just contact the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA) and find out when and where the next training seminar is taking place. You’ll benefit by being ahead of the learning curve when geothermal hits its full stride in your area.

Ford Motor Company just set aside $1.2 Billion for a 10-year project that will include thousands and thousands of boreholes. I’ve spoken with drillers in California that are positively affected by this single project all the way over in Michigan. Although it’s a big one, it’s still just one of many, many more projects to come.

Geothermal heat pumps provide the only reasonable solution to heating without combustion. And what many folks don’t realize is that it’s actually clean and renewable solar energy we’re pumping out of the Earth.

I explain it to folks like this:

Most locations in the world have water underground. It’s useless unless you drill a hole and put in a water-pump that can pump it up where you can use it for drinking, cooking, bathing, etc. Most locations in the world have solar energy underground. It too is useless unless you drill a hole and install a heat-pump that can pump the heat up for use in heating and hot water for bathing, etc.

In the first instance, we need a water-pump to pump water up from the Earth. In the second instance, we need a geothermal heat pump to pump heat up from the Earth.

So, you’re in the driver’s seat on this frontier of green energy. Drillers are the key to pumping unlimited renewable solar-thermal energy from the Earth. It’s a good time to be a driller.