Distributed Solar Energy Photovoltaics Generation

Within the Renewable Distributed Energy Generation (RDEG) market, sub-utility scale solar photovoltaics (PV) are by far the largest and most significant segment, representing approximately 98% of the total.

Solar PV growth has been spearheaded in recent years by markets such as Germany, Japan, Spain, and the United States. Remaining countries in the European Union are starting to pick up strong momentum as well. Emerging markets in India and China show significant promise in the longer term.

Of all the opportunities in PV, Pike Research finds that the most compelling growth potential lies in decentralized electricity generation, whether in small rooftop or large commercial installations. PV has the advantage of being truly modular, as it can reach cost efficiencies with installations that are just a few kilowatts to 20 MW or even 200 MW.

For purposes of our study, distributed PV is considered to be those systems less than 20 MW in size, where electricity does not pass through the traditional transmission and distribution system prior to being used. The estimated size of the distributed PV market in 2008 was 3.6 GW, and we forecast that it will grow to 9.7 GW by 2013, representing a compound annual growth rate of 22%. This translates into a $30 billion market in 2008, growing to nearly $60 billion by 2013.

This Pike Research report analyzes the market for distributed solar PV in the context of the broader RDEG market, which also includes small wind energy generation and fuel cell technologies. The study covers key business issues and drivers of demand for sub-utility scale solar power, including government-driven legislation and incentives as well as market-based factors.

Technology and cost issues are examined in depth, as are a number of key industry players. Market forecasts include distributed solar energy generation capacity, system revenues, and installed prices through 2013 for installations in all regions of the world, with line-item segmentation for 12 key countries.