Distributed Solar Energy Photovoltaics, Small Wind Power, and Stationary Fuel Cells

The global electric power industry is evolving from a financial and engineering model that relies on large centralized power plants owned by the utilities to one that is more diverse – both in sources of generation and ownership of the generation assets. Renewable distributed energy generation (RDEG) technologies represent a growing part of the new model for the electric power industry. Like any emerging industry, new policies and standards must be developed and practiced before the market can mature. Worldwide, utility companies and policy makers are testing programs and business models to support this industry. RDEG stands in contrast to the traditional one-way power supply, as well as the traditional relationship utilities have with their customers. The transition to a more distributed system of power generation will require the evolution of both technologies and business practices.

Overall, RDEG makes up a very small part of the current global electric power generation capacity but has the potential to play a much larger role in the future. While Europe and the United States are the largest markets for RDEG today, there is a growing movement to developing countries where electricity costs are high large percentages of the populations are without access to electricity. Pike Research’s analysis indicates that Europe will continue to be the largest market for RDEG during the 2012-2017 forecast period, but Asia Pacific will see the most rapid market growth across the three technologies covered in this report.

This Pike Research report explores the global market opportunity for RDEG technologies including distributed solar PV, small wind power, and stationary fuel cells. The report analyzes technology issues, demand drivers and barriers, and policy factors around the world that are influencing the adoption of RDEG technologies. The study includes an assessment of key industry players in each of the three major market segments, as well as detailed market forecasts through 2017 for installed capacity and revenue, segmented by world regions and major countries.

Key Questions Addressed:
  • What are the key regions for growth of RDEG technologies?
  • How will the reduction in price supports for renewables in Europe affect distributed generation?
  • How will the residential solar lease model affect solar PV installations in the U.S.?
  • What are the tradeoffs between centralized renewable power generation systems versus distributed architectures?
  • What enabling technologies are required for RDEG technologies to scale cost effectively?
  • How much will RDEG technologies cost in 2017?
Who needs this report?
  • Solar PV, small wind, and fuel cell technology providers
  • Distribution, installation and service providers
  • Government agencies and policy development advisors
  • Industry associations
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Investor community
  • Utilities

Table of Contents

1. Executive Summary

1.1   A Brief History

1.2   RDEG Market Growth: Distributed Solar PV, Small Wind, Stationary Fuel Cells

1.3   The Future of Distributed Generation

1.4   Key Trends in RDEG

2. Market Issues

2.1   Defining the Market

2.2   What Is Distributed Energy Generation?

2.3   Solar Power Systems

2.4   Small Wind Systems

2.5   Stationary Fuel Cells

2.6   Market Overview of RDEG Technologies: Distributed Solar PV, Small Wind, Stationary Fuel Cells

2.7   Distributed Solar PV Market Overview & Key Trends

2.7.1     Distributed Generation Can Still Mean Thinking Big

2.7.2     Distributed Solar Gains Public and Political Traction versus Centralized Solar

2.7.3     Solar PV Reaching Grid Parity

2.7.4     Small Wind Systems Market Overview and Key Trends

2.7.5     Investment Dollars Drive Technological Development and Market Expansion

2.7.6     Focus of Leading SWT Companies Shifts from the U.S. to the U.K. Market

2.7.7     Stationary Fuel Cells Market Overview & Key Trends

2.8   Other Industry Growth Drivers across All RDEG Technologies

2.8.1     Legislative and Regulatory Mandates

2.8.2     Financial Incentives and Public Policies     Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act     Grants     Interconnection and Permitting Standards     Loan Programs     Net Metering Policies     Property Tax Incentives     Public Benefit Funds     Rebate Programs     Sales Tax Incentives   Renewable Energy Certificates

2.8.3     Asset Ownership

2.8.4     Energy Storage

2.8.5     Microgrids

2.9   Implementation Issues

2.9.1     Grid Interconnection

2.9.2     Grid Integrity and Safety

2.9.3     Standards and Permitting

2.9.4     Utilities’ Fear of Higher Penetration of Renewables

2.9.5     Aligning the Product with Market Need

3. Technology Issues

3.1   Photovoltaic Systems

3.1.1     Basic Principles

3.1.2     PV Cell Types     Crystalline     Thin-Film     Low-Cost Polysilicon

3.1.3     Efficiency

3.1.4     Reliability

3.1.5     Scalability

3.1.6     Availability

3.1.7     Technology Trend: Micro Inverters, AC Modules, and DC Optimizers     Microinverters and AC Panels

3.2   Wind Systems

3.2.1     History

3.2.2     Basic Principles

3.2.3     Types     Horizontal Axis     Vertical Axis

3.2.4     Cost

3.2.5     Efficiency

3.2.6     Reliability

3.2.7     Scalability

3.2.8     Availability

3.3   Stationary Fuel Cells

3.3.1     Introduction

3.3.2     Background to the Technology

3.3.3     Differences between Fuel Cells

3.3.4     Cost of Fuel Cell Systems

3.3.5     Types of Fuel Cells     PEM     SOFCs     PAFCs and MCFCs

3.3.6     Durability

3.3.7     Standardization

3.4   RDEG Applications

3.4.1     Residential

3.4.2     Commercial/Retail

3.4.3     Government and Institutions

3.4.4     Farms

3.4.5     Telecom Primary and Backup Power

3.4.6     Marine, Remote Monitoring, and Security

3.4.7     Hybrid Systems

3.4.8     Community Projects     Community Wind     Solar Gardens and Solar Farms

3.5   Grid-Tied versus Off-Grid Installations

4. Demand Drivers

4.1   RDEG Market Drivers

4.1.1     Renewable Energy Targets, Distributed Carve-outs     North America     Europe     Asia Pacific

4.1.2     Feed-in Tariffs     North America     Europe     Asia Pacific

4.2   Distributed Solar PV Market Drivers

4.2.1     Dramatic Cost and Price Reductions     Solar Modules

4.2.2     Inverter and Balance of System

4.2.3     Solar PV Leases and Power Purchase Agreements

4.3   Stationary Fuel Cell Drivers

4.4   The Power of Partnerships

4.4.1     Callux – Development of Fuel Cell resCHP

4.4.2     Denmark: Danish Fuel Cell Partnership

4.4.3     Ene-Farm Program

4.5   Small Wind Market Drivers

5. Market Forecasts

5.1   Worldwide Renewable Distributed Energy Generation

5.1.1     Distributed Solar PV Systems

5.1.2     North America

5.1.3     European Union

5.1.4     Asia Pacific

5.1.5     Rest of World

5.2   Small Wind Systems

5.2.1     Europe

5.2.2     North America

5.2.3     Asia Pacific

5.2.4     Rest of World

5.3   Stationary Fuel Cells

5.3.1     Asia Pacific

5.3.2     North America

5.3.3     Europe

5.3.4     Africa

5.3.5     Latin America

6.     Competitive Landscape

6.1   Solar PV Manufacturers

6.1.1     First Solar

6.1.2     JA Solar

6.1.3     REC Solar

6.1.4     SunPower

6.1.5     Suntech

6.1.6     Yingli Solar

6.2   Solar PV Installers and Service Providers

6.2.1     SolarCity

6.2.2     SunEdison

6.2.3     Sungevity

6.2.4     SunRun

6.3   Small Wind Systems

6.4   Key Players

6.4.1     Bergey Wind Power

6.4.2     Endurance Energy

6.4.3     Northern Power Systems

6.4.4     Southwest Windpower

6.4.5     Wind Turbine Industries Corporation

6.5   Stationary Fuel Cell Companies

6.5.1     Altergy

6.5.2     Ballard Fuel Cell

6.5.3     Bloom Energy

7. Company Directory
8. Acronym and Abbreviation List
9. Table of Contents
10. Table of Charts and Figures
11. Scope of Study, Sources and Methodology, Notes