World to Add 220GW of Distributed Solar Before 2018

2nd May 2013

According to the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) the capacity of solar power generation installed around the world hit a total of 100 gigawatts at the end of 2012.

Navigant Research has now released a report suggesting that 220 gigawatts of new distributed solar photovoltaic capacity will be installed throughout the world by 2018, more than doubling the current total solar capacity, and creating $540.30 billion revenue.

Recent growth in the solar sector is due to large grid sized installations being developed to meet utility demand in various markets, but this report talks only of distributed solar, which refers to any project that is smaller than 1 megawatt in size. Dexter Gauntlett, a research analyst with Navigant Research, said that distributed solar installations are “used in applications ranging from residential to small commercial to industrial settings, distributed solar generation offers significant benefits to consumers while adding resiliency to an electric grid evolving beyond the traditional centralized model. Though this market is still primarily driven by government incentives, distributed solar PV will continue its steady march toward grid parity in major markets over the next few years.”

Distributed solar is becoming more popular due to the fact that it offers a source of onsite solar power generation, avoiding the need to build new transmission lines and infrastructure. Growth has also occurred due to the falling installation costs for PV panels; which are estimated to reach between $1.76 per watt and $2.74 per watt.

By. James Burgess