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USA: Concerted Actions in California and New York

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 23, 2017
SEIA USAIt will require concerted actions by the industry to keep solar heating and cooling on the agenda of politicians and administrators of incentive programmes in the United States. The Californian solar industry achieved a partial victory in mid-May, when the state assembly approved the extension of rebates for gas-replacing solar thermal systems under the California Solar Initiative (CSI) - Solar Thermal by 2.5 years, even though the industry had called for five. On the east coast, negotiations with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) are still underway for a follow-up of the statewide solar water heater rebate programme, which ended in December 2016. In a policy paper published this February, NYSERDA announced it would make USD 15 million available to incentivise ground-source heat pumps, whereas rebates for solar water heaters were not planned. 
Image: Solar Energy Industries Association
 

USA: First-Hand Information on US SHC Market

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 23, 2016
Conference LogosThe American Solar Heating & Cooling Alliance will offer sector-related conferences at both of its major upcoming events in the USA: Intersolar in San Francisco on 12 July and Solar Power International in Las Vegas on 12 September. The SHC Alliance, a division of the Solar Energy Industries Association, is organising and sponsoring these events to assess the tremendous impact solar thermal could have on energy and national gas consumption across the country. There is still little demand for solar thermal technologies and the industry will need to invest considerable effort in communicating their advantages. Gross additions in 2015 for glazed collectors have been estimated at 170,000 m² – a 7 % drop compared to the previous year. Unglazed collectors increased 1 % last year, bringing the total up to 846,000 m². These US market figures were provided by Les Nelson, a member of the SHC Council.
 

#SolarThermal: Increasing Visibility through Harmonised Hashtags

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 14, 2016
HashtagsThe solar heating and cooling (SHC) sector needs to increase visibility on social media channels. This was the shared belief of the three major SHC institutions – the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF), the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (IEA SHC) and solarthermalworld.org – which met at the beginning of 2016 to discuss relevant strategies. The group saw Twitter as an important communication channel among policy makers, lobbyists and industry associations – a tool which is also used by a growing number of journalists worldwide for their research. The institutions decided to campaign for harmonised hashtags regarding content related to solar heating and cooling on Twitter, in order to increase visibility and improve the search functionality. 

USA: SHC Alliance Board to Represent all Technologies

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 11, 2016
Ed MurrayThe Solar Heating and Cooling Alliance within the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has had an extended board since February 2016. Five industry representatives declared their candidacy and were subsequently elected: Bill Guiney from Artic Solar, Bob Leckinger from FAFCO, Les Nelson from IAPMO and Victoria Hollick from Conserval will join Mick Humphreys from Apricus until the end of this year. “We need to have representatives across all technologies of SHC,” Ed Murray explains the decision to extend the board (see photo on the left). Murray has been chair of the SHC Alliance since November 2015 as well as CEO and President of California-based system supplier Aztec Solar. His vice chair is Adam Chrisman, Vice President of Manufacturing & Engineering at SunEarth. The outreach officer/treasurer is Eileen Prado, Executive Director of the Solar Rating & Certification Corporation.

USA: Extended Tax Credits for Weak Solar Thermal Market

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 24, 2016
CalseiaAgainst all odds, the solar heating tax credits in the USA were extended again by 5 years. On 18 December 2015, the Consolidated Appropriations Act was signed, including an extension of the so-called federal Investment Tax Credits up to 2021. Originally, the tax incentives were expected to end on 31 December 2016 after an eleven-year period since 2005, with one previous extension in 2008. They allow both residential and commercial investors of solar PV and solar thermal systems to deduct 30 % of the investment costs at the next tax declaration.
Photo: Calseia.org

Arizona: Steep Drop in Solar Water Heater Demand

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 28, 2015

In 2006, Arizona's utility regulators at the Corporation Commission approved the Renewable Energy Standard and Tariff (REST) stipulating that all utilities are to generate 15 % of their energy by renewable sources by 2025. This gave a push to solar water heating, because the utilities subsidised solar water heaters whenever they offset electric water heaters. In 2011, US-based consultancy GTM Research placed Arizona at the pole position – before Hawaii – in the ranking of the states with the highest number of installed solar water heaters (see chart). But then PV became more popular and led to a drastically reduced demand for solar thermal systems. In 2016, the state’s largest utility, Arizona Public Service (APS), will even let the incentives for solar thermal run out, as their renewable target has already been reached.
Source: GTM Research

USA: Saving Money with Solar Heat – A Brochure Highlights 27 Commercial Case Studies

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 2, 2014
Buggy Bath Car Wash“We use solar-heated water,” says a large advert sign in front of the Buggy Bath Car Wash in Bozemann, in the US state of Montana. The owner decided to install a solar water heater system not just to save money, but also to attract customers. The drainback system with eight collectors from Californian manufacturer Sunearth cost around USD 11,900 after incentives and saves around USD 1,400 annually. The payback period is estimated at 8.5 years. This solar car wash is one of 27 commercial solar heating and cooling case studies which were described in a new study released in October 2014 by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). The report is the first of its kind and focuses on the technical, as well as the economical aspects of the installations.
Photo: SEIA
 

USA: New York State Subsidy Scheme Shows Satisfied, But Too Little Applicants

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 4, 2014
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has approved 565 applications and has paid grants for 490 solar water heater installations since the start of the solar thermal support scheme in January 2011. The chart shows the programme’s monthly application activity. December 2013 was an exception, because “there was one large project, consisting of 28 applications for a complex that is part of the 50+ applications in this particular month,” Marci Brunner explained. The Associate Project Manager at NYSERDA gave an update on the programme during the January conference call of the Solar Heating and Cooling Alliance, a division of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
Source: NYSERDA

USA: GoSolar at SEIA’s Birthday

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 27, 2014
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has just celebrated “four decades of successful advocacy”. On 24 January 1974, “five industry people met in the noisy basement of the Washington Hilton hotel to discuss the possibility of establishing an association for the nascent solar energy industry,” recalls a text on the organisation´s website. Therefore, SEIA organised an official birthday event on Friday 24 January 2014, exactly forty years later, and initiated a national Shout Out for Solar Day on this very anniversary. The banner is a screenshot from the campaign website: americasupportssolar.org/dev/

USA: SEIA Publishes Road Map for Solar Heating and Cooling Policies

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 23, 2013

Under the title "Solar Heating and Cooling: Energy for a Secure Future", the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has published a 36-page road map for solar heating and cooling in the USA (see attached document). The road map aims to increase solar heating and cooling capacity in the US from 9 GWth today to 300 GWth by 2050 (both figures including pool heating). “It’s an ambitious goal, but it’s doable,” SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch says in a comment on SEIA’s web page.
Source: Road map map 26

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