Clean Power

Published on February 19th, 2014 | by Joshua S Hill


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

February 19th, 2014 by  

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.


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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I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (, and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at for more.

  • Banned by Bob
    • A Real Libertarian

      “Back in 2007 and 2008, the ‘stupid cowboy’ (former President G.W.
      Bush) was trying to form a trade pact and strategic alliance with India,
      which happens to be the most populous democracy in the world. But
      ‘Smart Power’ knows better, and wants to pick a fight with India over
      solar panels.”

      That your comment Jep?

  • A Real Libertarian

    “these end-markets are expected to provide more than 80% of global soalr PV demand during the next five years”


  • Michael Berndtson

    This is the interesting thing about solar PV. It’s growth is big based on small increments. PV solar growth is grossly miscounted by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). EIA is the all things energy data clearinghouse our government puts together. Check out its tallying effort on PV solar below:

    It’s about 4 years behind and incomplete. This is important because EIA data tables are always cited by everyone looking to make a point about one type of energy or another. Usually the point is about how successfully oil, gas and coal transfer from beneath the surface to the atmosphere.

    • jeffhre

      “Small-Scale Solar Projects Now Account For Over Half Of Construction” And very small scale (rooftop residential and small commercial) are completely unaccounted for…

      • Bob_Wallace

        The EIA added end-user solar to its solar total starting a couple years back.

        • jeffhre

          Though it is difficult to track all installations when projects under 10 KW are rarely reported (by the installer?), and never in a timely or easy to access manner.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Here’s how the EIA is attempting to capture the amount of small end-user solar on the grid. It’s not a perfect way, but if they do some decent sampling studies they should get fairly close.


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