World Markets for Bulk Photovoltaic Installation

Published - Apr 2004| Analyst - Michael Kujawa| Code - EGY033D
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Report Highlights

  • Total worldwide revenue from bulk PV installations reached $212 million in 2003 and is expected to rise at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 21.3% to $556 million in 2008.
  • Bulk PV generating capacity will rise at a slightly higher rate to 272 MW in 2008.
  • Currently costs are high, but many governments have recognized the importance of PVs and have established funds that underwrite project expenses to bring them to a point where the economics work..
  • The rate at which the costs of PV power are falling will bring PV capacity to parity with conventional power plants within a decade.


The renewable energy technologies industry has entered the realm of big . Large wind turbines joined small hydro and biomass in sharing billion-dollar annual revenues in the late 1990s. Photovoltaics (PV) reached that level in 2000 and now megawatt-scale projects occur regularly. Geothermal power plants have become a short-listed option wherever a sufficient resource is present. A host of new ocean energy conversion technologies have been developed, and demonstration projects are being deployed in the waters off four continents.

Photovoltaic manufacturing capacity has become large enough that a big order, sometimes surpassing a megawatt of capacity, no longer represents the annual production of an entire factory. The number of applications that demand such high concentrations of PV modules is expanding. Bulk arrays now are found on rooftops as tiles, shingles and modules, as weather skins on commercial and institutional buildings, as parking lot shading, as stand-alone power plants, distributed over the rooftops of housing projects, and providing power in a distributed fashion to remote villages and homes.

This BCC report pinpoints growth opportunities for large-scale PV projects. The goal is to quantify their current and future installed capacity, to place a dollar value on those shipments, and to pinpoint their locations where possible. The study assesses the technical status and identifies and quantifies market opportunities for bulk power (>100 kW) photovoltaic installations.


The report contains:

  • Assessments for established and emerging markets for bulk power PV technologies, including various Si, CIS, CdTe and organic dye-stabilized TiO cells.
  • Forecasts of market evolution through 2008 in terms of installed and future installed capacities and annual project revenues
  • Perspectives on government incentive programs, mandatory green energy purchases, and legislative and regulatory support on national, provincial and state levels
  • Identifies specific regional markets for PV merchant power plants, BIPV, green buildings, carports, RPS mandated PV and others.


BCC analyzed bulk PV capacity shipped through 2003 and what is expected to be shipped by the end of 2008. Estimated value is project revenue in 2003 dollars and, where appropriate, in terms of annual new projects, annual new capacity, and cumulative capacity (megawatts).

Various assumptions were made for unit capacity. The underlying rationale for the assumptions is provided with relevant market forecasts. These were generated to cover world, regional, national and, where appropriate, provincial and state markets.

Forecasts were created on the basis of unit counts by various international and national government agencies, market sector associations, and manufacturers' financial reports and press releases. Consideration also was given to fundingprograms underwritten by international and national agencies, the presence or absence of feed-in tariffs, and government policies aimed at the development of national, provincial and state photovoltaic capacity.

Care was taken to understand the impacts of subsidies, grants and mandates that support deployment and growth in the markets for bulk photovoltaic shipments.


BCC surveyed numerous companies, consultants and government agencies to obtain data and background information for this study. Included were manufacturers of photovoltaic panels and production equipment, federal, state and local government officials, legislators, entrepreneurs, micropower` companies and distributed-generation project development companies.

Discussions also were held with green power marketers, permitting specialists, project developers, project engineering firms, government regulators and researchers, bankers and venture capitalists and utility representatives.

In addition, data was compiled from financial and trade information, government sources and technical societies. Extensive use was made of World Wide Web sources to develop a comprehensive, quantitative view of world markets in as efficient a manner as possible.


Michael Kujawa is a market research analyst and renewable energy consultant. He has authored reports on markets for large wind turbines, geothermal power plants, biogas-fueled generation capacity, U.S. power markets during deregulation, cogeneration equipment, fuel cells, small hydro, ocean energy conversion equipment and photovoltaics. He has a background in renewable energy project development, aerospace technologies and marine operations simulation research. Mr. Kujawa recently acted as a development executive for a startup company engaged in the distributed generation in the U.S., the Caribbean and South America.


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Published - Apr-2004| Analyst - Michael Kujawa| Code - EGY033C

Report Highlights

  • Total worldwide revenues from small hydro and OEC installations will rise at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 10% from $6.8 billion in 2003 to $10.9billion in 2008.
  • While OEC currently makes a minuscule contribution to the overall energy supply, new capacity will climb to almost 20% of all new hydromechanical capacity in2008.
  • Public and private support for OEC is increasing after successful demonstrations of a number of pilot installations.
  • The U.S. has the highest potential in the small hydro modification market, with more than 70,000 water impoundment structures that can be considered.
  • A multitude of small hydro renovation projects now are being started in Europe, and China continues to see small hydro as a core technique for rural electrification.

Published - Jul-2003| Analyst - Michael Kujawa| Code - EGY033B

Report Highlights

  • Total world geothermal and waste biogas capacity was 13.4 GW in 2002 and will grow at an average annual rate (AAGR) of 7.4% to 20.6 GW by 2008.
  • Revenues were $856.8 million in 2002 and, rising at an AAGR of 4.8%, are expected to exceed $1.1 billion in 2008.
  • New geothermal capacity will grow an average of 8.3% year while new waste gas capacity will rise at an 8.6% AAGR.
  • Digested mature form cattle, swine and chickens have technical potential of 20 GW.

Published - Jan-2003| Analyst - Michael Kujawa| Code - EGY033A

Report Highlights

  • Conventional fossil fueled, nuclear and large hydro plants still provide 98% of world electricity supplies.
  • Large wind turbine factories are now operating in all but a handful of western European countries, in North America, Asia, Australia and Latin America.
  • A frantic pace of development projects will resume in the U.S. in 2003 ahead of the expiration date of the Production Tax Credit (12-31-03).
  • Before 2010, large wind turbines will account for a quarter of all new bulk power production capacity installed annually worldwide.
  • The majority of Kyoto CDM projects seem destined to go to China.


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