Sunnovations: Solar Hot Water Is Where the Money Is

There are about 200 million solar water heating (SWH) systems in the world. There are about one million systems in the U.S. Year-on-year numbers, even during the recession, showed SWH to be an expanding domestic industry.

There are approximately 100 million residential water heating systems in the U.S., according to Sunnovations CEO Matt Carlson, and just under half use electricity, fuel oil or propane. “I’m looking at a market of 50-million-plus homes that don’t use natural gas to heat their water,” he said. “That’s a pretty sizeable market, and that’s where the opportunity is.”

In the U.S., natural gas is cheap and the infrastructure to deliver it is in place. Though many market watchers expect increased competition from liquid natural gas (LNG) exporters to soon drive the domestic price up, Carlson and other SWH proponents admit they cannot compete with natural gas at its present low rates… Read more

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