Small-Scale Solar Projects Now Account For Over Half Of Construction

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According to a new report from NPD Solarbuzz, solar PV projects ranging in size from 250 kilowatts (kW) to 5 megawatts (MW) now account for almost half of the 4,300 projects currently under construction across leading PV countries.

The latest NPD Solarbuzz Global Deal Tracker report details the collective downstream project activity in leading and emerging PV markets across the world, released each month.

As detailed within the report, the leading countries for solar PV demand now include five major countries in the Asia-Pacific region — China, Japan, India, Thailand, and Australia — Germany, the UK, Italy, and France for Europe, and the United States and Canada. According to NPD Solarbuzz, “these end-markets are expected to provide more than 80% of global soalr PV demand during the next five years” and currently have a combined 95 GW currently working its way through the production pipeline.

While projects in excess of 50 MW currently make up 68% of the total capacity in the pipeline, the number of projects between 250 kW and 5 MW outnumber the larger projects.

“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,” according to Chris Beadle, analyst at NPD Solarbuzz.

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Breakdown of 4,300 Projects Within the Pipeline of the Leading Solar PV Countries
Image Credit: NPD Solarbuzz

Unsurprisingly, given early-year predictions, China, Japan, and the US are expected to drive new solar PV capacity deployment over the next five years. We’ve pretty extensively covered the growth trends in the PV market, coming out of 2013, and with their massive manufacturing capabilities, plus Japan’s drive to deprive themselves of nuclear power in favour of cleaner and safer renewable sources, these three countries are set to dominate the solar PV industry. Currently, these three powerhouses have more than 3,600 PV projects greater than 250 kW in their pipelines, working out to approximately 65 GW of total capacity. Of that, 24 GW is expected to be completed throughout 2014.

“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,” added 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.”

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Joshua S Hill

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