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Renewable Distributed Energy Generation Market to Triple in Size by 2015

|Includes: SunPower Corporation (SPWR), SUNEQ, YGE

The market for renewable distributed energy generation (RDEG) will grow from $50.8 billion in 2009 to $154.7 billion by 2015, according to a new analysis. 

Pike Research says 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.

RDEG, which includes both distributed solar photovoltaics (PV) and small wind power, is an emerging mode of operations that is a growing alternative to the traditional centralized power generation infrastructure.

RDEG capacity additions are expected to increase from 5.9 gigawatts (GW) in 2009 to 15.1 GW 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.”

Asmus adds that, while RDEG currently represents a very small part of the global electric power generation capacity--just 0.2%--it has the potential to play a much larger role in the future.

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.

Green investment favorites in distributed solar include SunPower (Nasdaq: SPWRA), MEMC Electronic Materials (NYSE: WFR), SMA Solar (S92.DE), and Yingli Green Energy (NYSE: YGE).

Disclosure: no positions