BOULDER, Colo. — The number of installed residential combined heat and power (resCHP) systems, in both single-family and multifamily homes, is expected to reach 13.5 million worldwide by 2022, according to a report from Pike Research. Annual installations of resCHP systems are forecast to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 49 percent for single-family homes and 44 percent for multifamily homes between 2012 and 2022.

The market for resCHP systems — defined as small, distributed energy generation systems that produce electricity for residences while also capturing and making use of waste heat — is still very small, but growing rapidly, noted Pike Research. Only 61,000 systems shipped globally in 2011, a number predicted to increase by 50 percent in 2012.

“Besides being more efficient than the traditional power grid and easier to build than conventional power stations, resCHP systems have the additional benefit of producing thermal energy that can be used as heat, converted to electricity, or converted to cooling when coupled with an adsorption chiller,” said research director Kerry-Ann Adamson. “Particularly in developing regions such as Africa, the Middle East, parts of Asia Pacific, and Latin America, these systems offer a cost-effective alternative to expensive, traditional power stations and grid installations.”

The drivers for strong growth in this sector over the next decade include volatile energy markets, in which residential power costs can fluctuate dramatically from season to season, as well as increasing levels of fuel scarcity in a number of countries, said Pike Research. In addition, aging transmission systems in many countries are contributing to the rise of blackouts and brownouts, such as this summer’s widespread power outages along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. The distributed nature of resCHP systems makes users less vulnerable to outages on the centralized power grid.

Publication date: 7/16/2012