Over the period from 2009 through 2014, BCC predicts that the global market for water–heating ST residential and commercial technologies will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20%, from $7.9 billion to nearly $19.6 billion. The global market for air–heating ST residential and commercial technologies will also indicate growth, although projected growth through 2014 will be more modest as compared to water–heating technologies. The air–heating ST market will grow from $62.5 million in 2009 to approximately $91.5 million in 2014, for a CAGR of 7.9%.
STUDY GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
BCC’s goal in conducting this study was to assess and describe the current status of the worldwide solar thermal (ST) industry for all major residential and commercial technologies, and assess the potential growth of that industry. More specifically, the study included the following objectives: (1) summarize existing residential and commercial ST technologies and promising emerging technologies that are under development; (2) evaluate the existing ST industry, focusing on producers of each major viable residential or commercial ST technology; and (3) assess market potential for residential and commercial ST technologies over a 5–year period, from 2009 through 2014.
REASONS FOR COMPLETING THIS STUDY
Driven by the intensification and increased global awareness surrounding several energy–related issues, including energy costs and security, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, climate change, air and water pollution, and other environmental and economic concerns, worldwide interest in alternative energy is rising rapidly. The application of ST technologies represents one of several potential solutions that are being widely implemented by residential and commercial energy consumers to address these issues. Residential and commercial ST technologies represent effective, economically viable opportunities for businesses and individuals to reduce grid–energy and/or fossil–fuel consumption for process heating.
Broad–based support for alternative energy as a solution to energy security, global warming, and rising energy prices has generated tremendous interest in solar energy technologies. Although heavily publicized by participant industries, residential– and commercial–scale photovoltaic (PV) technologies have yet to demonstrate grid parity with traditional energy sources, and continue to carry high procurement costs, which dampen market penetration. ST technologies, on the other hand, are technologically mature and remain economically viable for far more residential and commercial purchasers. A newfound emphasis on alternative and solar energy stands to directly benefit the residential ST technology industry, whose markets have evidenced substantial growth within the past decade. This study assesses market conditions that have facilitated the ongoing implementation of ST technologies around the world.
We have completed a study of residential and commercial ST technologies, along with relevant market and production information, technological descriptions and issues, applications, market factors and potential, and an overview of supporting incentives and regulations in major worldwide markets. Therefore, this study will be of interest to manufacturers of ST technologies, distributors, suppliers, and entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial companies interested in entering or expanding into the ST technology sector. It will also be of interest to corporate planners and strategists, large commercial and industrial energy consumers, energy market researchers, solar energy advocacy groups, and other public– and private–sector interest groups and market analysts.
SCOPE OF REPORT AND METHODOLOGY
The scope of this investigation includes only major viable technologies and products, implemented in the residential and commercial sectors, to collect or absorb solar–thermal energy. As described in greater detail below, a complete ST system is comprised of one or more collectors, which collect solar energy, as well as various pipes, pumps, and other infrastructure necessary to convey solar–thermal energy from the collector to the intended point of use.
The pipes, pumps, and other ancillary infrastructure used in the installation of ST collectors are in some cases specialized in design to meet the requirements of a specific ST collector technology. More commonly, however, these ancillary features are simply pieced together by a contractor or installer out of standard materials (e.g., copper or plastic pipe, standard mounting brackets, water storage tanks, water pumps, etc.) that are not specific to the ST industry, and may be used for a wide array of purposes. In general, it is the ST collector itself that is specific in terms of technological application, and an ST unit cannot function without an ST collector. Therefore, for the purpose of clarity, the scope of this report is limited to ST collectors. All market information provided including data and relevant company profiles pertain specifically to ST collectors. Their sales and manufacturing volumes are presumed to be indicative of the performance of the entire residential and commercial ST technology industry. Ancillary features, as discussed above, are not included in the market data provided in this report, and manufacturers of these ancillary features are not included in the review of company profiles.
BCC analyzes each major viable ST collector, determines its current market status, examines its impact on future markets, and presents forecasts of growth over the next 5 years. Technological issues, including the latest trends, are assessed and discussed, as are the current and likely regulatory environments in support of this industry. Emerging ST collector technologies not currently commercially viable, but which may become so within the next 5 years, are summarized, but are not included in the market assessment of this report.
BCC analyzes the industry on a worldwide basis, from both manufacturing and implementation points of view. BCC also examines government roles in support of ST technologies worldwide, including regulatory support and requirements, feed–in tariffs, and promotional incentives for various ST technologies, as relevant and available. Included is a review of the most relevant residential and commercial ST technologies, an examination of recent trends in dollars and unit sales, and industry overviews and market assessments for each currently–viable ST technology.
This report is one of two reports being published by BCC research on solar–thermal technologies. The second report contains an assessment of global industrial and utility–scale solar–thermal installations.
The following table provides a review of the major worldwide markets that were assessed in support of this study:
List of Global Markets Considered in this Study
United States, Canada
Europe and Near East
European Union, Israel, Turkey
Asia and Australia
China, Japan, Korea, India, Australia, Pacific Rim
Source: BCC Research
Background information, including reviews of each residential and commercial ST technology and its implementation status, was collected from government and industry sources, primarily those located in the United States and Europe. Specific citations and references are provided as needed to support this study, and Web site links to government and industry studies, white papers, and other relevant information are provided whenever available.
BCC’s research of present and historic market trends was conducted primarily via phone interviews and Internet research, relying on personal interviews and internal company data that were provided to BCC research, and on annual documentation of sales within each sector as relevant to a particular ST technology. Based on the survey results, BCC analyzed the potential applications for each technology, and forecast remaining 2009 sales and sales through 2014.
Market sizes and installed capacity figures were calculated based upon data obtained from surveyed parties. Additionally, as available, the data provided in this report were compared with other industry data to ensure relevance, applicability, and accuracy.
Both primary and secondary research methods were used in preparing this report. BCC surveyed more than 85 companies to obtain the data for this study. Included were manufactures of solar thermal hardware, distributors, and selected products. BCC also spoke with users of these technologies in a variety of locales worldwide. Additionally, BCC compiled data from current financial and trade information and government sources, as available and relevant.
Research Information Sources
Portion of BCC Report
Primary or Secondary
Review of energy–efficiency technologies and energy–efficient products
Scientific, government, and industry research
Regulatory support for energy efficiency
Primary and secondary
Industry structure and market overview
Major companies and company profiles
Market assessment and projections
Industry interviews, BCC Research calculations
Source: BCC Research
Robert Eckard has more than a decade of experience working in the energy and environmental industries. Currently pursuing a PhD in water and energy resources at the University of California at Davis, Robert also runs a small industry research and technical consulting company, with an emphasis on energy/water/ environmental sectors. Robert has provided economic analysis, market assessments, environmental analysis, and technical water and energy reports to state and local governments, other consultants, and private companies and individuals throughout the U.S., Australia, and Singapore. Previously, he produced reports for BCC Research on the global markets for distributed generation and energy–efficiency technologies.
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The information developed in this report is intended to be as reliable as possible at the time of publication and of a professional nature. This information does not constitute managerial, legal, or accounting advice; nor should it serve as a corporate policy guide, laboratory manual, or an endorsement of any product, as much of the information is speculative in nature. The author assumes no responsibility for any loss or damage that might result from reliance on the reported information or its use.
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