Thursday, February 26, 2009

Solar Rebate Reservations Down Slightly in SD

Still too early to show
2009 trend

Katrina Perez, non-residential program manager for the CA Solar Initiative in San Diego (SDGE area), was asked by Solar Advice for Free to compare the beginning of 2009 to 2008 for reserving rebates for solar installations other than residential. Although little data is available, applications were down just 11% from last year.

"In a comparison of Jan & Feb of 2008 to Jan & Feb of 2009 - nine applications [were submitted] in January and the first half February 2008 compared to eight in 2009 [for the same period], an 11% decrease," said Perez, a staffer at the CA Center for Sustainable Energy. She also said the last quarter of '08 CCSE saw just ten applications submitted. "The number of applications that are received in the Non-res sector has been sporadic in the past 2 years," she added. Adjacent graphs show non-residential rebate activity (SDGE territory) since the CSI began January, 2007. (Click for larger images.)

As of today, issued non-residential rebate reservation letters from CCSE amount to 1.26MW worth of projects; only 9.8% of the 12.87MW available in Step 5 of the CSI declining rebate schedule. An anemic 120kW of rebate applications are presently under review at CCSE. (See CSI Statewide Trigger Point Tracker at

California trails only Germany and Japan in total photovoltaic installations, economic uncertainty and tight credit are influencing decisions to go solar. It's also much too early to tell what the new stimulus package--including about $80 billion in solar incentives--is having on the industry. If solar stocks are any indication, it's not a pretty picture.


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