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Distributing Renewable Energy | RenewablesBiz December 2, 2010

Posted by Laura Arnold in Feed-in Tariffs (FiT), Uncategorized.
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A report says distributed wind and solar power will triple its impact in a few years.

via Distributing Renewable Energy | RenewablesBiz.

A new report sees wider expansion of small wind and solar production
Bill Opalka [1]

Large-scale power generating stations my rule the United States utility model, but a new report suggest distributed wind and solar will play an increasing role worldwide. The Pike Research report suggests the sector will triple in size over the next five years.

Large-scale power generation is the prevailing model for the U.S. utility industry, but distributed renewables is a market that is growing very rapidly. That’s according to a new study that tracks the growth in distributed solar and wind generation.

The global electric power industry is evolving from a financial and engineering model that relies on large centralized power plants owned by the utilities to one that is more diverse – both in sources of generation and ownership of the generation assets.

According to a new report from Pike Research [3], the renewable distributed energy generation (RDEG) market will experience strong growth over the next several years, with total system revenues increasing from $50.8 billion in 2009 to $154.7 billion by 2015.

RDEG includes both distributed solar photovoltaics [4] (PV) and small wind power and is an alternative to the traditional centralized power generation plants. During this period, the cleantech market intelligence firm forecasts that annual RDEG capacity additions will increase from 5.9 gigawatts in 2009 to 15.1 gigawatts in 2015.

“The economics of sub-utility scale renewable energy continue to improve at a rapid pace,” says senior analyst Peter Asmus. “This downward price curve is fueling demand for distributed solar PV and small wind systems as an alternative to centralized power generation. But the transition to a more distributed system is no small matter, and it requires the evolution of policies, technologies, and business models.”

RDEG currently represents a tiny part of the global electric power generation capacity – 0.2 percent. Although Europe and the United States are the largest markets for RDEG today, China and India are huge potential markets. Pike Research anticipates that Europe will continue to be the largest market for RDEG during the 2010-2015 forecast period, but China will see the largest market growth as the cost of renewable energy approaches that of conventional energy.

Currently, the key drivers of the market for distributed solar PV and small wind technologies [5] are public price supports in the form of feed-in tariffs and tax rebates. This dependence on price supports makes the market for RDEG vulnerable to abrupt changes in both political/regulatory policy and economic conditions. Some of largest markets for rooftop solar PV including Spain, Italy, Greece and the state of California, have spiraling national (and state) deficits that could negatively impact this market, the report says.

Pike Research’s report, “Renewable Distributed Energy Generation”, analyzes the market potential for RDEG technologies including distributed solar PV and small wind power. It examines policy and regulatory factors in key markets around the world, market-based demand drivers and key barriers to adoption, and the competitive landscape within the two major RDEG sectors. Global forecasts, segmented by key countries and world regions, are provided for installed capacity and total system revenues through 2015.

The editorial staff at RenewablesBiz.com is passionate about exchanging ideas and dedicated to promoting ongoing conversation about renewables and sustainable energy issues. We invite you to join and contribute to our online community. If you have an idea for an article or editorial contribution, please contact me via email, bopalka@energycentral.com [6], or phone, 860.633.0090

Editor’s Note: Thought you might like to see the one comment posted thus far on the original article posted above. Your thoughts and comments please! Laura Ann Arnold

Distributed Generation – Yes, Wind/Solar – Maybe

 – Dec 2, 2010 – 9:21 AM

The article is interesting as it points out the value of Distributed Generation (DG). But, its focus on wind and solar is perplexing. Why limit it to these two energy sources? In fact, there are much better options for DG.

Rudd Asset Management is a renewable electric power developer. We focus on biomass fueled generation in the 10 – 20 MWe range. We much prefer biomass generation for a number of reasons including load dispatchability, base load operation, and the ability to locate our plants anywhere there is an indigenous biomass fuel source. Another big plus for us is the ability to add Combined Heat and Power to our designs. We can get our plant efficiency to 80 % +. That is not possible with wind and difficult for solar collection.

DG yes. Solar/Wind no!

Mark Rudd

ruddassetmangement@gmail.com

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