Analysts Navigant Research have forecast that the global distributed generation (DG) energy market is likely to double between now and 2023, rising from 87 GW installed in 2014 to more than 165 GW by 2023.
As DG technology advances, adoption of these technologies will be accelerated by a combination of cost reduction, government incentive and a growing cultural shift that will see more and more energy consumers opt for clean electricity in favor of fossil fuels.
The threat of the DG model to utility business models will continue apace, affording consumers greater control over their energy needs, with solar PV playing a particularly pivotal role in this transition.
"Utilities in Western Europe are losing hundreds of billions of dollars in market capitalization as DG reaches higher levels of penetration in leading countries such as Germany, the U.K. and Italy," said Navigant Research senior research analyst Dexter Gauntlett. "The prospect of similar losses by utilities in the U.S. is prompting a struggle among utilities, the DG industry, and regulators over the future of DG models."
Navigants report, Global Distributed Generation Forecast, outlines how modular distributed assets can adapt to a variety of different applications each of which comes with a different technical requirement. This trend shift will mean DG systems must be able to communicate with both the grid and other DG assets, especially when connected to microgrids.
Despite the undoubted growth of DG across the solar industry, pace has slackened a little in China, where the government had hoped to add around 8 GW of DG PV capacity in 2014.
An earlier report from Navigant Research forecast that the DG market will grow from $97 billion to $182 billion by 2023.