In its new research report, “Renewable Distributed Energy Generation,” Pike Research has estimated that annual worldwide installations of renewable distributed energy generation will almost triple between 2012 and 2017. Pike speculates that by 2017, 63.5GW per year will be reached, with almost 232GW of distributed renewable energy added over the five-year period.

“In a growing number of cases around the world, renewable distributed generation technologies are more cost-effective than centralized installations that require transmission to population centres,” says research analyst Dexter Gauntlett.  “In many ways, momentum is shifting to distributed, renewable sources that give consumers more control over the electricity they consume and generate. But in order to reach its full potential, the renewable distributed energy sector will require continued innovation in business models, technology development, utility participation, and investment in an uncertain economic climate.”

Currently, distributed renewable installations represent less than 1% of total global electricity generating capacity. However, over the next five years, the tide is set to change and Pike notes that the majority of the new installations will be solar PV. Pike notes that worldwide PV module production capacity reached around 50GW by the end of 2011 and it expects for new solar additions to total 210GW between 2012 and 2017.