March 18, 2008 15:29 ET

Examine the Market Opportunities in the Microgeneration Sector

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - March 18, 2008) - announces that a new market research report related to the Energy industry is available in its catalogue.

Market Opportunities in the Microgeneration Sector

With energy efficiency a common feature across political agendas, utilities are faced with having to address the microgeneration issue in the current context of increasing energy prices and environmental awareness. This brief considers the various available technologies and whether current and future microgeneration markets present an opportunity or a threat for the large utilities.

Knowledge of the main types of microgeneration technologies and how they deliver more CO2 reduction than most other home energy efficiency measures - Awareness of the precarious state of the European microgeneration market, and how it could become part of a mass market decentralised energy system - Reasons why the UK market displays such strong medium term potential, focussing on cost-effectiveness, CO2 reduction and energy generation - Insight into how and why future utility profits could be significantly influenced by the success of their engagement with microgeneration.

Microgeneration is currently a cost-inefficient and unreliable alternative to large scale offshore wind generation and a range of key constraints is currently affecting its wide-scale deployment. Yet, with greater commercialisation, microgeneration has the potential to become part of a commercial mass market decentralised energy system.

Following a range of government grant initiatives, the small UK household microgeneration sector has seen rapid engagement. Cost projections suggest that certain microgeneration technologies will produce competitive energy by 2020, with the potential to deliver up to 14% CO2 reductions and 30-40% of the UK's total electricity demands by 2050.

As it stands, microgeneration will achieve a fraction of its full potential. It must be facilitated as part of an overall programme which embraces change affecting all aspects of the energy generation / usage model. Only then will future utility profits be significantly influenced by the success of their engagement with the microgeneration market.

Gain a new and accurate perspective of the nascent microgeneration market, its key limitations and its medium/longer term potential - Understand the likely margin impact of taking a position and exploiting market opportunities early on in the decentralised energy value chain - Re-assess your company's strategic positioning vis-a-vis the microgeneration market, and amend your business strategy accordingly.






There are currently seven types of mainstream microgeneration technologies in use 2

Microgeneration is the decentralized generation of zero or low-carbon heat and power 2

Solar photovoltaic systems use energy from the sun to create electricity 3

Solar thermal systems harness energy from the sun to provide domestic hot water 4

Ground source heat pumps extract stored solar heat from the ground 5

Biomass fuel involves burning wood or other organic materials to produce energy 6

Wind energy refers to energy obtained from turbine engines powered by wind 7

The Stirling engine combined heat and power boiler uses a heat engine to simultaneously generate both electricity and useful heat 8

A fuel cell produces electricity through a chemical reaction similar to that found in a battery 9

In Europe, microgeneration is a nascent and fragile market 10

Microgeneration is currently a cost-inefficient and unreliable alternative to large-scale offshore wind generation 10

A range of constraints currently prevents the wide-scale deployment of microgeneration 11

Insufficient optimization of the legislative and regulatory environment is a key limiting factor 11

With greater commercialization, microgeneration could become part of a mass market decentralized energy system 12

In the UK, microgeneration technologies display strong medium-term potential 13

The household microgeneration sector has seen rapid engagement but is still relatively small 13

The Low Carbon Buildings Programme provides grants of up to Pounds Sterling 2,500 per property 14

Microgeneration technologies could produce cost competitive energy by 2020 16

Microgeneration could deliver significant CO2 benefits 17

By 2050, 30% to 40% of the UK's electricity demands could be met through microgeneration technologies 18

Utilities' future profits may be significantly influenced by the success of their engagement with microgeneration 19

As it stands, microgeneration is neither a threat nor an opportunity 19

For microgeneration to reach its full potential, large utilities will have to get involved 19

Microgeneration could be far too important to ignore 20

Utilities recognize the future commercial, environmental and strategic potential of microgeneration technologies 20


Further reading 21

Ask the analyst 21

Datamonitor consulting 21

Disclaimer 21

List of Figures

Figure 1: Microgeneration technologies achieve more CO2 reduction than most other home energy efficiency measures 2

Figure 2: Solar PV are the most widespread microgeneration technology 3

Figure 3: Solar water-heating is usually the most effective microgeneration renewable energy system 4

Figure 4: GSHP systems are composed of a ground heat exchanger, a heat pump and a heat distribution system 5

Figure 5: Biomass fuel is considered 'green' if the organic material originates from a renewable source 6

Figure 6: Small wind systems are not generally cost-effective at present 7

Figure 7: CHP systems generate both power and heat 8

Figure 8: Fuel cell technology is not yet widespread or commercially viable 9

Figure 9: Current microgeneration installations use a number of different technologies 13

Figure 10: Phase 1: householders can apply for grants of up to Pounds Sterling 2,500 per property towards the cost of installing a certified product by a certified installer 14

Figure 11: Grounds source heat pumps, biomass, and domestic CHP will be cost effective in 2008 15

Figure 12: Micro hydro is currently cost effective with EEE 16

Figure 13: By 2050, wind is expected to save the highest proportion of CO2 emissions 17

Figure 14: Combined electricity output of microgeneration technologies in 2050 would account for 25% of the UK's current electricity demand 18

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Market Opportunities in the Microgeneration Sector

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