The virtual power plant market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 29.68% from 2016 to 2021, to reach a market size of USD 709.2 million by 2021. Major drivers of the virtual power plant include growth in smart grid, increasing share of renewable energy in the power generation mix and lowering costs for solar and energy storage.
The virtual power plant market is dominated by a few major players that have a wide regional presence and are established brand names. Leading integrated solution providers in the virtual power plant market include ABB Ltd. (Switzerland), Siemens AG (Germany), Schneider Electric SE (France), General Electric Company (U.S.) and IBM (U.S.) whereas top demand aggregators include EnerNOC, Inc. (U.S.), Comverge, Inc. (U.S.), Flexitricity (U.K.), Limejump Ltd. (U.K.) and Enbala Power Networks (Canada).
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- Increasing share of renewable energy in the power generation mix
- Shift from centralized to distributed generation
- Decreasing costs of solar generation and energy storage
- Health safety concerns regarding electromagnetic frequency (EMF) & radio frequency (RF) exposure
- Rising demand for electric vehicles
- Development of smart grids
- Cybersecurity issues associated with the energy sector
Asia-Pacific is estimated to be the fastest growing market for virtual power plants from 2016 to 2021. The rapid industrialization of its economies has led to over increasing power demand. Also, there has been an increasing demand for renewable energy in order to reduce carbon emissions. Therefore, the countries in Asia-Pacific are looking at renewable energy generation in a way to meet its energy needs at affordable costs and minimum environmental damage and hence driving the market for virtual power plant. South Korea is expected to grow at the fastest pace during the forecast period. Furthermore, the growing power sector in India is expected to spur the growth of the market, and represents a promising opportunity for major virtual power plant solution providers. Japan is also expected to witness significant growth during the same period. On the other hand, Europe and North America are trying to boost their energy efficiency programs with stringent regulations.
With regard to the technology segment, mixed asset are expected to constitute the fastest growing market from 2016 to 2021. They include multiple technologies such as solar power, battery storage, and energy efficiency systems which helps in reducing the energy consumption, supply clean power and also witnessing increase in demand as they are more efficient. This would cater the needs of residential as well as commercial end users and encourage them to save energy and also use the stored power when the electricity charges are at its peak.
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The report segments the virtual power plant market in terms of end-user segment into commercial & industrial and residential. The residential segment is expected to grow at the fastest rate during the forecast period. Virtual power plants are implemented in residential homes as well as commercial buildings such as hospitals, educational institutions, office towers, universities, municipal projects, among others in order to save energy, reduce life cycle costs and increase efficiency. Hence, the virtual power plant are experiencing huge demand for clean power generation and less environmental damage along with maintaining energy costs. Market players such as EnerNOC, Comverge, Flexitricity Ltd, among others can expand their customer base by gaining contracts from utilities, residential, industrial, and commercial customers to provide solutions such as demand response management programs and services, energy efficiency programs and energy intelligence software.