Over the last decade, Americans have witnessed a shift towards renewable energy. The use of fossil fuels has created a harmful dependence on non-renewable resources, and homeowners have recognized a need to reprioritize. Concerned individuals have begun seeking alternative sources such as solar, wind and geothermal power.
Solar water heating is one resource that has grown in popularity internationally. While it has less of a foothold in the United States, researchers predict the market share to grow exponentially in the coming years. Here’s what you should know about water heater growth in 2021.
What Are Solar Water Heaters?
Solar water heaters use energy harnessed from the sun to heat your home’s water. Solar heat is one of the top three renewable sources driving climate protection, saving several million tons of oil while reducing carbon emissions each year.
There are two categories of solar water heater systems that offer unique benefits to the consumer. The active category includes direct and indirect circulation systems, while the passive category includes thermosyphon and integral collector-storage systems. The type chosen depends on the climate and the homeowner’s budget.
What Shifts Can You Expect in 2021?
Internationally, solar water heaters are prominently featured. Researchers predict the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) will grow by over 5.1% between 2020 and 2025. China and India greatly influence this highly competitive market as they strive to reach their clean energy targets. Many governments around the world are pushing for schemes that subsidize solar water heating to reduce carbon emissions.
Some sources even believe the CAGR could go as high as 8.1% by 2025 if energy prices and the global population continue to rise. Research indicates demand for these heaters will increase and drive industry growth. Consumers are looking for eco-friendly, reliable, and affordable technologies. In the U.S., stringent and forward-thinking regulations and government incentives make this option look much more promising.
What Are the Benefits?
In 2021, solar water heating offers a variety of benefits for the environment and the average homeowner. As a green energy source, solar power has a smaller impact on the planet and reduces carbon emissions by decreasing fossil fuel dependence. While other renewable resources exist, few are as widely available and low-maintenance.
A well-maintained system can last for up to 20 years and requires minimal upkeep. While installation costs may seem high, homeowners can expect to see 50%-75% savings on their water heating. This can equate to thousands of dollars saved throughout the life of the product.
What Options Are Available?
As discussed previously, the two primary categories of solar water heaters are passive and active systems.
Passive systems optimize the heat and light directly from the sun for use, while active systems have devices to convert the sun’s energy. To decide what type would be best for your home, you should consider the average costs and your area’s climate.
Direct circulation and integral-collector storage systems are best in locations where temperatures rarely fall below freezing. In comparison, indirect circulation systems will still function under freezing conditions but can be more expensive.
Should You Join the Trend?
Solar water heaters require less roof space than a typical solar layout, so it’s a simple way to test out renewable energy in your home. Many people swear by their systems and appreciate the freedom it provides. With a solar water heater, you remain unaffected by fluctuating fossil fuel prices and can enjoy cheaper water bills.
As the market continues to diversify, technology will advance and systems will likely become more efficient. When deciding whether to join the trend, homeowners should evaluate their government’s incentive programs. Depending on the options available and their subsequent savings, this could be one of the best times to invest in a system.
Looking Towards a Greener Future
People are concerned about climate change and are looking for ways to create a greener future. In 2021 and beyond, you should expect to see an increase in demand for renewable energy. Specifically, the global market value and CAGR of solar water heating will grow. With so many benefits, now may be the best time for consumers to evaluate their options and join the trend.
Jane is the Editor-in-Chief of Environment.co and an environmental writer covering green technology, sustainability and environmental news.