Smaller solar is winning utility tick

Of 4300 commercial and utility projects on offer in the major markets, representing almost 95 GW, more than half are now at the smaller end of the spectrum.


Solar photovoltaic projects between 250 kilowatts and five megawatts now account for almost half of the yet-to-be-completed 4300 commercial and utility projects within the leading PV countries, according to the new NPD Solarbuzz Global Deal Tracker report.

The leading countries for solar PV demand now include five major countries in the Asia-Pacific region (China, Japan, India, Thailand and Australia), four European countries (Germany, UK, Italy and France) and North America (US and Canada). Collectively, these end-markets are expected to provide more than 80 per cent of global solar PV demand during the next five years.

The total project pipeline for the leading solar PV countries has reached almost 95 gigawatts, with the largest projects, in excess of 50 MW, making up 68 per cent of the total capacity on offer, although there are currently less than 500 such projects in the pipeline.

"While projects in excess of 50 megawatts account for most of the solar PV pipeline capacity, smaller projects up to five megawatts can typically be approved and completed within a matter of months, making this segment particularly interesting to suppliers and developers," NPD Solarbuzz analyst Chris Beadle said.

China, Japan, and the US are expected to drive new solar PV capacity deployment over the next five years.

Currently, these three leading countries offer a pipeline of more than 3600 PV projects of greater than 250 kW, which is equivalent to a total capacity of 65 GW.

NPD Solarbuzz forecasts that 24 GW of new commercial and utility projects will be completed in these three countries during 2014.

Figure 1: Breakdown of 4300 projects within the pipeline of the leading solar PV countries

Graph for Smaller solar is winning utility tick

Source: NPD Solarbuzz Global Deal Tracker

“Understanding the status of the project pipeline within the leading global markets is critical to component suppliers and project developers seeking to participate in the high-growth solar PV industry,” said Finlay Colville, vice president at NPD Solarbuzz.

“With global PV demand still concentrated among just a few countries, sales and marketing efforts will achieve the greatest rewards when they are aligned with projects that have the best chance for near-term deployment.”

Originally published on NPD Solarbuzz. Reproduced with permission.

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