North America distributed power generation market is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 7% during the forecast period of 2020 – 2025. Factors such as rising environmental concerns and government policies for incentives and tax benefits for solar panel installation, high cost of grid expansion are expected to be major drivers driving the market. Also, advancement in technology leading to solar panel manufacturing cost reduction and increase in efficiency has been a major factor for the growth of North America distributed power generation market. However, a reduction in tax credit for solar power generation in the USA from 2022 is expected to slightly hamper the growth of the market in the forecast period.
- Solar PV sector is expected to witness significant growth in the forecast period, owing to factors like increasing shift towards renewable energy for energy generation, lack of efficient and reliable central grids, and economic factors.
- Commercial and industrial sectors are showing a growing interest in distributed solar power generation, due to various economic benefits and constant source of energy to eliminate downtimes and equipment damage due to voltage fluctuations in conventional power grids. This, in turn, is expected to create a huge opportunity for distributed power generation market in the region.
- USA is expected to dominate the market, over rising environmental concerns and economic benefits of domestic distributed power generation. The country accounts for over 16% of global solar energy generation, amounting to 97.1 Terawatt-hours as of 2018.
Key Market Trends
Solar PV Sector to Witness Significant Growth
- The solar PV sector is expected to witness significant growth in the forecast period. The sector is the most popular form of distributed power generation due to factors like relatively low setup cost, drop in prices of solar panel manufacturing, and government subsidies.
- Increasing demand for clean energy is one of the primary drivers for the distributed solar power generation market in the region. As of March 2019, small scale solar PV capacity in New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey amount to 83%, 67%, and 67% of the total installed capacity, respectively.
- Small scale solar PV capacity in the United States tripled between 2014 and 2019, from 7326.6 MW in 2014 to 23210.8 MW in 2019.
- Rooftop solar offers the benefits of modern electricity services to households that had no access to electricity, reducing electricity costs on islands and in other remote locations that are dependent on oil-fired generation, as well as enabling residents and small businesses to generate their electricity.
- Commercial and industrial systems remain the largest growth segment because they are usually more inexpensive and have a relatively stable load profile during the day that can enable larger savings on electricity bills, depending on the policy scheme in place.
- Therefore, the aforementioned factors are expected to drive the market in forecast period.
United States to Dominate the Market
- The United States has dominated the distributed power generation market in 2018 in the region and is expected to continue its dominance in the coming years as well. The country holds vast potential for the expansion of distributed energy systems (DES), notably in the form of off-grid and residential solar. Inefficiencies in the power grid infrastructure, power supply shortages, and the scalability of decentralized technology pave way for the deployment in the country.
- California leads the distributed solar PV sector in the country with around 1000 MW residential solar PV installations in 2018. The state has a total residential installed capacity of over 5000 MW.
- The distributed wind power capacity of the United States reached 1 GW in 2017, with around 81,000 turbines generating power in over 50 states. In 2017 alone 83.7 MW of new distributed wind capacity was added in the country. In 2018, 50.5 MW on new distributed wind power capacity was added in 12 states, consisting of 2684 units and USD 226 million in investments.
- Different states have set up different goals to increase their individual renewable energy targets, for example Hawaii have set a 100% renewable target by 2045, Arizona have set a 45% renewable by 2030 and 100% clean energy by 2045. These individual targets are expected to further help grow the distributed solar power generation market in the country.
North America distributed power generation market is fragmented. Some of the major companies include Caterpillar Inc., Total SA, Seimens AG, Schneider Electric SE, and Sunrun Inc., among others.
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