Really Small Solar Gaining Traction Around the World

Although the solar industry’s phenomenal growth is largely around systems that power homes and businesses, there’s a subsector that’s also gaining traction, called "pico" solar.

Call it really small-scale solar – at 100 watts or less – used to charge cell phones, power lights and small direct current (DC) appliances.  Although, we mostly hear about these systems used in the developing world to provide light, it is increasingly used in industrialized countries to run emergency backup and disaster preparedness equipment, Recreational Vehicles (RVs), boats and even electric fences, in addition to lighting for off-grid homes and communities, says Navigant Research. 

One of Grape Solar’s kits: 

 

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Worldwide, they expect pico solar products to grow from sales of 8.2 million this year to 64.3 million in 2024, with revenues of $550.5 million to $2.4 billion, respectively.

"Solar PV consumer products are rapidly moving from specialized niches for enthusiasts and early adopters into the mainstream," says Dexter Gauntlett, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. "The market for off-grid solar lighting, in particular, has reached a point where there is considerable opportunity around the world and multiple entry points for manufacturers, distributors, service providers, and others."

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Grape Solar sells generators and kits at Home Depot, Sam’s Club, and elsewhere, and there will products from a growing list of companies on retail shelves over the coming year.

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