According to a report published by Pike Research, the distributed solar energy market is poised for dramatic growth over the next few years. Pike predicts that global installed capacity will approach 2.5 gigawatts by 2012, with annual system revenues surpassing $55 billion.
“Residential and commercial solar energy remains a subsidy-driven market, but we expect the reliance on government and utility incentives to subside over the next several years as cost structures improve with economies of scale,” said Pike senior analyst David Link, who authored the report.
Link added that it is expected that dependence on feed-in tariffs and other incentives will be far lower in Europe within three to five years and in the U.S. within five to 10 years.
Distributed solar PV growth has been spearheaded in recent years by markets such as Germany, Japan, Spain, and the United States. Pike Research forecasts that the U.S. will become the largest market for small solar energy installations by 2011, surpassing Germany. Momentum is also strong in other European countries, and China and India show significant promise in the long term.