Pico solar, solar home systems expected to reach $2.1 billion in annual revenue by 2024

Miniature solar photovoltaic systems, including pico solar and solar home systems, are moving rapidly from specialized niches for enthusiasts and early adopters into the mainstream, according to a new report from Navigant Research.

These systems are particularly well-suited for applications in the developing world, where they provide lighting, cell phone charging and power for small direct current appliances in areas with unreliable or nonexistent power grids.

Navigant predicts that worldwide revenue from pico solar and solar home systems will grow from $538 million in 2014 to more than $2.1 billion in 2024.

"Although the majority of solar consumer product activity is, for now, in developing regions of the world, similar products are also emerging in the developed world in the form of solar PV generators and kits,” said Dexter Gauntlett, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. "NRG’s recent acquisition of Goal Zero exemplifies the growing interest in the sector among major corporations, with more acquisitions and strategic partnerships likely to follow."

In the developing world, according to the report, pico solar systems are providing new alternatives for people who previously had no choice but to pay high prices for low-quality and polluting fuel-based lighting, such as kerosene lamps. In addition to providing inadequate illumination, kerosene lamps pose significant health risks, Navigant adds. The spread of pico solar systems provides these communities with access to compact, clean and affordable off-grid lighting and other electric devices.

The report, Solar Photovoltaic Consumer Products, analyzes the emerging global market for solar PV consumer products. While it focuses on pico solar products and solar home systems, it also analyzes growth opportunities and key players for solar PV generators and kits.

An executive summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.