Distributed PV generation nears grid parity in major markets

The company forecasts that from 2013 to 2018, 220 GW of distributed PV will be installed worldwide, thus representing US$540.3 billion in revenue. This is mainly based on the assumption that PV module prices and installation costs will continue to decline until they reach grid parity by 2018.

The 2012 distributed PV market was said to have seen a slight contraction, continued the report. This is said mainly to be due to the European Union’s uncertainty surrounding feed-in tariff (FIT) reductions, and to the decreased installations in Germany and Italy. This was, however, counterbalanced by a growth in the distributed PV markets in Asia Pacific (led by China), and North America (led by the United States).

According to the report, the emerging trends that will shape the distributed solar energy generation market include drops in installation costs, the development of leasing programs to private homeowners, and an increase in government incentives.

Overall, it analyzes the global market for distributed photovoltaic systems less than 1 MW and assesses the most important market drivers, technology trends and challenges faced by the growing PV sector, with forecasts extending through to 2018.

Despite last year’s slight market contraction, global data generally suggests that distributed PV systems have the potential to play a big role in future business models. The global electric power industry is evolving from a model that relies on large centralized power plants owned by utilities to one that is more diverse in terms of sources and ownership.