Small PV projects growing share

Solar PV projects between 250kW and 5MW now account for almost half of the yet-to-be-completed 4,300 commercial and utility projects within leading countries experiencing PV demand, according to NPD Solarbuzz.

The consultancy lists those countries by region. Asia-Pacific: China, Japan, India, Thailand, and Australia; Europe:  Germany, U.K., Italy, and France, and North America: US and Canada.

Collectively, these end-markets are expected to provide more than 80% of global solar PV demand during the next five years, it says.

The total project pipeline for those nations is now almost 95GW. The largest projects, in excess of 50 MW, make up 68% of the total capacity on offer - although there are currently less than 500 such projects in the pipeline, according to NPD Solarbuzz.

"While projects in excess of 50MW account for most of the solar PV pipeline capacity, smaller projects up to 5MW typically be approved and completed within a matter of months - making this segment particularly interesting to suppliers and developers," says Chris Beadle, an analyst at NPD Solarbuzz.

China, Japan, and the US are expected to drive new solar PV capacity deployment over the next five years. Currently, these three leading countries offer a pipeline of more than 3,600 PV projects greater than 250 kW, which is equivalent to a total capacity of 65GW.

The consultancy forecasts that 24GW of new commercial and utility projects will be completed in these three countries during 2014. The breakdown of 4,300 projects within the leading solar PV countries :

250kW-1MW: 28%

1-5MW: 19%

5-10MW: 15%

10-20MW: 17%

20-50MW: 10%

Over 50MW: 11%