Presently, energy systems are undergoing significant and extensive changes. The world is moving away from centralized fossil fuel and nuclear-based large power systems toward a more distributed or decentralized system. The drivers driving these changes are regulations to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, to increase the share of renewable energy sources in energy mix, to enhance energy efficiency, and also the need of energy security. These distributed systems majorly rely on renewables and combined heat and power (CHP) systems for power generation, which enable the consumers to become producers of their own power.
The conventional power systems have been primarily centralized with power generation at bigger and larger power plants and generated power flowing through voltage chain; however, this trend is expected to change with an increase in small scale power generation capacity at local level either due to local energy sources or due to increase in local energy demands. The policies and incentives offered by various governments for renewables across the world is estimated to give a vital boost to the small-scale power generation market, and the same is anticipated to expand at a healthy rate during the forecast period due to increase in demand for standby power and better power quality by the end-user markets.
In terms of source of energy, the small-scale power generation market can be segmented into renewable and non-renewable sources of energy. The renewable sources comprise small-scale solar power plants and wind turbines, small-scale hydro plants, biogas, and biomass. The renewable sources segment is projected to increase at a substantial rate during the forecast period due to reduced carbon footprint from these sources of energy for small-scale power generation. The non-renewable sources of energy include oil and natural gas for small-scale power generation from reciprocating internal combustion engines, gas turbines, small steam turbines or micro turbines. The efficiency of these systems can be improved by employing combined heat and power (CHP) system, which recovers wasted thermal energy in order to utilize it for various purposes such as water heating or space heating. The non-renewable segment is likely to dominate the small-scale power generation market by source of energy during the forecasted period.
In terms of end-user industry, the small-scale power generation market can be segmented into residential, commercial, and industrial. The industrial segment is projected to have significant share in the small-scale power generation market. While the commercial segment is predicted to expand at a significant growth rate during the forecast period.
In terms of region, the small-scale power generation market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. North America is estimated to dominate the small-scale power generation market with the U.S. holding major share in the region. While the market in Asia Pacific is predicted to expand at a rapid growth rate during the forecast period primarily due to the emerging markets, increasing power demands and expanding infrastructure in developing economies of India and China. Middle East and Africa is projected to follow the lead of Asia Pacific in terms of growth rate for the small-scale power generation market.
Key players operating in the small-scale power generation market are Siemens AG, Ansaldo Energia, First Solar, FuelCell Energy Inc., Canyon Industries Inc., Capstone Turbine Corporation, Bloom Energy, Ballard Power Systems, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas Inc., and Yingli Solar.