Every three months or so, SEIA (Solar Energy Industry Association) and the good people at Greentech Media (GTM) Research put out a solar industry report, and that’s great. We’ve summed up some of the insights from the solar hot water side before, most recently for the full 2010 report.
Usually, the GTM researchers include a few juicy pages in the executive summary about our little solar thermal side of the industry. However, this latest 2011 quarter has few solar hot water insights.
Not sure if that brevity is due to the lack of industry participation or the lack of vibrancy in the market, but for what it’s worth, below is the full section from the report’s executive summary.
4. SOLAR HEATING AND COOLING
The solar heating and cooling (SHC) category is composed of two distinct markets: solar water and space heating (SWH) and solar pool heating (SPH). The domestic SWH market has grown on an annual basis since 2004. The SPH market hit a peak in 2006, and while it shrank significantly in the period 2007-2009, in 2010 it made a slight recovery with indications that this upward trend will continue in the near term.
4.1 MARKET UPDATE
Incentive changes in major markets are helping to drive installations. In Hawaii, which was the domestic market leader in 2008, a mandate (with loopholes) that systems must be installed on new homes rather than offering incentives for any system severely impacted installation numbers in 2009 and 2010. But in Q1 2011, the Hawaii Energy Efficiency (HEE) program doubled the incentive from $750 per installation to $1500 per installation using ARRA funds. The amount allotted was reserved by interested participants almost immediately. Through the end of July, HEE is offering an incentive of $1000 per installation.
In the month of March, installation rates were back to up to 2008 levels. In California, the CSI’s relatively new solar water heating incentive of up to $1,875 per installation for residential homes and $500,000 per installation for commercial and multi-family structures is helping to drive increased interest in solar water heating that we saw begin in 2010.
Arizona’s market also remains quite strong, with most utilities offering production incentives that can cover up to half of a system’s costs. Look for Arizona to be a leading market by the end of 2011.
So, that’s the full solar hot water Monty for Q1. Want to read the full executive summary report with the rest of the Solar PV and CSP insights? Download it here.
Need more insights on state solar water heating incentives? Check out our recent blog post summarizing recent solar thermal incentive changes around the U.S. since December 2010.