Solar propelling distributed power to new heights, finds report

The global distributed power generation market is set to expand substantially over the next five years according to GlobalData Analyst, and will be driven largely by the solar PV sector.

In 2013, the distributed power market amounted to 190 GW globally, of which 92 GW of installed capacity was generated by solar PV – a 48% share of the market. Combined heat and power accounted for 28%, with wind power claiming 13%, said the analysts.

Europe’s dominance of the solar PV distributed power sector will soon diminish, however, as the Asian Pacific region (including China), expands its reliance on distributed PV energy.

"Due to a number of EU member states that pioneered in offering subsidies and incentives to boost solar PV installations, Europe now holds an impressive 66% share of the world’s distributed solar PV capacity," said GlobalData project manager for alternative energy, Ankit Mathur. "However, following the 2009 financial crisis and recent budgetary constraints, most of the European PV markets have retracted their support by reducing such incentives. It is therefore expected that Europe will be supplanted by APAC (Asia-Pacific) as the market leader by 2019."

By the end of 2019, GlobalData expects distributed PV generation in the APAC region to reach 89 GW, with China and Japan at the forefront of this expansion.

"These countries’ efforts in boosting distributed PV installed capacity will help them to reduce the burden on the grid and avoid transmission losses. It will also allow for rural electrification, which is a significant priority for most governments across the globe," concluded Mathur.

In 2013, the global solar PV distributed power market accounted for $74.8 billion, which was a 77% share of the total sector investments that year. By 2019, solar PV is expected to bankroll the global distributed power market to the tune of $114 billion.