The global annual market for the deployment of distributed solar PV plus energy storage is expected to exceed $49 billion by 2026, and reach 27.4 gigawatts, according to a new report from Navigant Research.
Navigant Research published its latest Distributed Solar PV Plus Energy Storage Systems report this week, which examines the global market for the combination technology distributed solar PV plus energy storage, or DSES. The focus on this particular subsection is unsurprising, given the growing importance DSES has in emerging economies and rural locations. Navigant noted that the “growth of distributed energy resources (DER) is changing how electricity is delivered by the grid to end users” and that “Distributed solar PV has become a valuable part of the global power generation mix and is forecast to grow substantially in the next several years.”
While “the value of standalone solar PV systems is contentiously debated throughout the United States and in other grid regions,” the same cannot be said for the value of distributed solar in “remote locations without access to electricity or reliable grid electricity service.” Distributed solar PV systems with energy storage capabilities are providing many in emerging economies and rural communities with reliable electricity for the first time ever — especially when we take into account the economics of distributed solar PV plus energy storage compared to fossil fuel methods such as diesel.
The Navigant Research report finds that the industry is larger than these emerging and rural communities, and many residential and commercial industrial sectors are beginning to shift away from solely purchasing electricity from their local utilities, and beginning to procure a diverse suite of on-site technologies, including solar PV coupled with energy storage. This is particularly the case for commercial and industrial sectors (C&I) looking to increase their renewable energy levels, or to transition entirely to 100% renewable energy. In all, the report highlights three separate DSES market segments — residential, C&I, and remote/off-grid markets.
As such, the global annual market for the deployment of distributed solar PV plus energy storage is likely to reach 27.4 gigawatts (GW) by 2026 and amount to $49.1 billion.
“An emerging confluence of technical, economic, and regulatory factors is beginning to drive growth in the residential, C&I, and remote, off-grid DSES markets,” said William Tokash, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “Beyond this, coupling battery energy storage technology with solar PV and virtual power plant (VPP) software technology will allow this class of DER to be dispatchable from a grid operator standpoint to address intermittency and provide grid services as well.”
Specifically, the region expected to see the largest DSES expansion is the Asia Pacific region, where annual DSES power capacity and revenue is expected to reach 12.9 GW and $23.1 billion.
Annual Distributed and Remote, Off-Grid Solar PV Plus Energy Storage Power Capacity and Vendor Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2017-2026
The second largest region will be Western Europe, expected to reach 7.3 GW and $12.5 billion across the three market segments.
The report also highlighted three market drivers which the authors believe are combining to “facilitate the initial deployments of DSES.” Unsurprisingly, core among these drivers is the increased availability of battery energy storage systems and the decreased costs for both solar PV and battery technology. Of course, what could be the primary reason we are seeing such a focus on DSES expansion is the fact that solar PV systems on their own only provide electricity when the sun is shining. Couple it together with a energy storage system, however, and the system begins to provide greater functionality around the clock.
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