Solar to beat wind installations for ‘first time’ in 2013

Solar power capacity installed across the globe this year will overtake wind for the first time driven by new subsidies and policy support, a new report claims. Wind installations are […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Solar power capacity installed across the globe this year will overtake wind for the first time driven by new subsidies and policy support, a new report claims.

Wind installations are forecast to shrink by 25% in 2013, with a total of 35.5GW of new onshore and offshore wind capacity to be added in 2013 globally compared to 36.7GW of new solar installations.

This, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), is due to a slowdown in China and the US – the world’s two largest wind markets – caused by policy uncertainty but opening the way for the rapidly growing solar market. Last year, however, 30.5GW of solar capacity was added in comparison to 46.6GW of wind power.

Jenny Chase, head of solar analysis at BNEF said: “The dramatic cost reductions in PV, combined with new incentive regimes in Japan and China, are making possible further, strong growth in volumes. Europe is a declining market because many countries there are rapidly moving away from incentives but it will continue to see new PV capacity added.”

Despite the change in rankings, onshore wind and solar will contribute almost equally to the world’s new electricity capacity additions between now and 2030, BNEF claims. Wind, both onshore and offshore, is forecast to expand from 5% of the world’s total installed capacity last year to 17% in 2030 while PV is predicted to grow from 2% in 2012 to 16% by 2030.

A report last month showed wind power became the number one source of new electricity generation capacity for the first time in the US last year.