The distributed photovoltaic (PV) market is projected to reach nearly $60 billion by 2013, up from $30 billion in 2008, according to a new report from Pike Research. The market researcher estimates the size of the market at 3.6 GW in 2008, growing to 9.6 GW by 2013, at a compound annual growth rate of 22 percent.
Pike Research defines distributed PV as systems at less than 20 MW in size, where electricity does not pass through the traditional transmission and distribution system prior to being used.
According to the report, Sub-Utility Scale Photovoltaics: Market Analysis and Forecasts, sub-utility scale solar PV is by far the largest segment of the renewable distributed energy generation (RDEG) market, representing approximately 98 percent of the total market.
Pike Research said solar PV growth has been spearheaded in recent years by markets such as Germany, Japan, Spain, and the United States, although other countries in the European Union are starting to pick up strong momentum, and emerging markets in India and China are showing significant promise in the longer term.
A key finding indicates that significant growth potential lies in decentralized electricity generation, whether in small rooftop or large commercial installations. PV has the advantage of being truly modular, as it can reach cost efficiencies with installations that are just a few kilowatts to 20 MW or even 200 MW, said Pike Research.