While the solar sector has long been aware of the disruptive nature of DG, Navigant Research has confirmed the extent of the disruption. It observes that in Western European countries such as Germany, the UK and Italy, utilities have lost billions of dollars in market capitalization as DG grows.
The prediction from Navigant is for the DG market to grow from $97 billion in 2014 to $182 billion in 20203.
One of the most important issues for the energy industry is striking a balance between DG growth and fairly compensating utilities for the ability to effectively use the existing electrical grid as a backup service for onsite power at higher concentrations in the future, says Dexter Gauntlett, senior research analyst with Navigant Research.
In a message that has repeatedly been sent to the utility sector, Gauntlett advocates utilities engage with DG customers and, even participate in the market themselves.
The Navigant report analyzes the DG market, defined as <1 MW PV systems, <500 kW wind turbines, stationary fuel cells, <6 MW diesel and natural gas generator sets. Presumably, although it is not mentioned in the reports executive summary, solar PV comprises the biggest component in the disruptive DG mix.
Navigant has shied away from covering distributed storage in this latest report, which surely will have a major impact on DG impact as prices drop.
The report is titled Global Distributed Generation Deployment Forecast.