The global renewable distributed energy generation (RDEG) market is predicted to grow from less than US$69 billion in value in 2012 to almost US$86 billion in 2017, according to a new report from Pike Research.

The report, called Renewable Distributed Energy Generation, explores the global market opportunities for RDEG technologies including distributed solar PV and highlights a growing opportunity for the electric power industry.

Research analyst Dexter Gauntlett comments: “The global electric power industry is evolving from a financial and engineering model that relies on large centralized power plants owned by the utilities to one that is more diverse – both in sources of generation and ownership of the generation assets. This transition to a more distributed system of power generation will require the evolution of both technologies and business practices. Like any emerging industry, new policies and standards must be developed and practiced before the market can mature.”

The report notes that the “new RDEG model” is still in its early stages claiming that RDEG installations account for less than 1% of total installed electricity generating capacity worldwide. It reveals that RDEG technologies are more cost-effective than centralized installations in an increasing number of cases around the world.

It predicts that Europe will continue to be the largest market for RDEG during 2012-2017 and sees most European countries hitting their renewable energy targets. However, Asia Pacific, led by China, will be the fastest growing region.