220 Gigawatts of New Distributed Solar Generation Will be Added by 2018

April 17, 2013

The global electric power industry is evolving from a financial and engineering model that relies on large centralized power plants owned by utilities to one that is more diverse, in terms of both the sources of generation and the ownership of the generation assets.  Distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) systems offer the benefit of producing electricity onsite, thereby reducing the need to build new transmission capacity and avoiding line losses.  According to a new report from Navigant Research, 220 gigawatts of distributed solar PV capacity will be installed between 2013 and 2018, representing $540 billion in revenue during this time.

“Used in applications ranging from residential to small commercial to industrial settings, distributed solar generation offers significant benefits to consumers while adding resiliency to an electric grid evolving beyond the traditional centralized model,” says Dexter Gauntlett, research analyst with Navigant Research.  “Though this market is still primarily driven by government incentives, distributed solar PV will continue its steady march toward grid parity in major markets over the next few years.”

Even as distributed solar technologies have become more cost-effective, many governments are reining in popular feed-in tariffs in leading markets.  The industry is fully aware that lucrative financial incentives will not be around forever.  As a result, many companies are looking at 2017 (the year after solar PV investment tax credits expire in the United States) as the year that solar PV will be able to stand on its own, without government support.

The report, “Distributed Solar Energy Generation”, analyzes the global market for distributed solar PV systems less than 1 megawatt in capacity and provides an assessment of the most important market drivers, technology trends, and challenges faced by the growing distributed solar PV industry.  Forecasts for average installed prices and annual installations, segmented by region, extend through 2018.  An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.

Contact: Richard Martin



* The information contained in this press release concerning the report, “Distributed Solar Energy Generation,” is a summary and reflects Navigant Research’s current expectations based on market data and trend analysis. Market predictions and expectations are inherently uncertain and actual results may differ materially from those contained in this press release or the report. Please refer to the full report for a complete understanding of the assumptions underlying the report’s conclusions and the methodologies used to create the report. Neither Navigant Research nor Navigant undertakes any obligation to update any of the information contained in this press release or the report.

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