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).
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
Utility company Florida Power & Light (FPL) has just started a solar rebate programme on 21 June. FPL supports both PV and solar thermal plants run by private home owners, as well as companies. The programme is part of a five-year pilot programme the Florida Public Service Commission authorised to promote solar power and reduce energy consumption. The funds for PV were exhausted within minutes. For solar thermal, there was still a lot of subsidy money remaining as of 16 July: USD 3 million for private customers and USD 447,000 for business customers. According to FPL, up to USD 15.5 million per year are planned to be spent on the solar rebate programmes. Once funding for the current year is exhausted, the programme will be halted; customers can apply again the following year. Source: Pixelio/Carl-Ernst Stahnke
More and more state governments in the USA approve Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) with a certain share of solar energy. An RPS requires utilities to retrieve a certain percentage from renewable sources every year. For example, in the District of Columbo (D.C.), utilities will have to get 20 % of their energy from renewable sources, with 0.4 % of that from solar. The map shows all states with an RPS policy including solar or Distributed Generation (DG). Figure: dsireusa.org
The first financing measure in the framework of New York's Solar Thermal Roadmap is about to be implemented: Very soon, solar thermal technology will be the next technology to profit from the Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), which were introduced in the State of New York in 2005. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is responsible for administering the RPS funds, which are collected via the electricity bills of individual clients – residential and commercial ones – in the service areas of investor-owned utilities. A total of USD 25.8 million was allocated to subsidise solar thermal installations replacing electric water heaters. Combi systems are also eligible for the incentive scheme if the rooms in question were previously heated with electricity.