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Hot News: 3rd Quarter 2010 Solar Thermal Market Report from SEIA

Photo: Flickr/lumaxart

SEIA (The Solar Energy Industry Association, of which Free Hot Water is a member) recently released its third quarter 2010 Solar Market Report for the industry.  Unfortunately for the solar hot water industry, the trends are pointing downward for the last quarter of 2010.

The report includes solar photovoltaic (PV) and large scale solar market data as well, but we thought we’d pick out the solar thermal highlights in the report’s Executive Summary:

  • The overall Solar Hot Water Market. The good news: By the close of the third quarter of 2010, 1,660 thousand square feet (tsf) of solar thermal collectors will have been installed in the U.S. The bad news: If the trends continue, the 2010 market will have shrunk by 11% from the 2,289 tsf that was installed in 2009.
  • Solar hot water is down because…50% of the solar water heating and solar space heating business in the U.S. is driven by California, Hawaii, Arizona, Puerto Rico and Florida, and a decrease in Hawaii’s tax-based subsidy and Puerto Rico’s slow rebate implementation are seen as one cause of the drop. Business in Puerto Rico should pick up once the rebate program gets its act together.
  • Cautiously optimistic for recovery. According to SEIA, the recovery of the solar water heating market depends on a number of factors. Mainly, low gas utility rates and the slow economy have been a drag to the industry, but SEIA still expects the market to recover in 2011 and resume moderate growth in 2015. Though not mentioned here in the executive summary report for some reason, California’s new generous solar thermal rebate should also help increase the demand in the market.
  • For solar pool heating, commercial is in better shape than residential. Solar pool heating sales are up slightly, but incentive programs and rebates for large commercial systems have contributed to much larger commercial growth. If these incentives continue through the U.S., SEIA expects the commercial solar pool heating market will continue to grow through 2015, and residential to grow, but at a slower pace.

To read the full 3rd quarter 2010 executive summary, just download this file.

Free Hot Water is always on the look out for useful resources for our customers. We archive all of our reports, instruction manuals, and other useful documentation on our resources page at shop.freehotwater.com. You can log in or register here to access these reports.

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