The perennial hotshot in the renewable energy world, wind power, has had a tough year installing generators compared to its renewable cohorts. In a new milestone on the road to a cleaner energy future, the amount of newly installed solar power capacity will overtake that of wind power for the first time in 2013. A new report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) reported that 36.7 gigawatts of solar will be installed globally this year, while wind drops it annual amount by 25 percent to 35.5 gigawatts.
Jenny Chase, BNEF’s head of solar analysis, notes that, “[t]he 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 [solar] capacity added.”
Wind power has seen a difficult market due to policy uncertainty, especially in the US and China. But as Justin Wu, head of wind analysis at BNEF, said, “falling technology costs, new markets and the growth of the offshore industry will ensure wind remains a leading renewable energy technology.” As an example, recent long term contracts signed by several utilities in New England demonstrate that wind power can be cheaper than coal or nuclear.
As 2013 looks to be the brightest year so far for solar, check out how GRACE’s friends at Vote Solar have been so successful in bringing solar to the mainstream and find out why their Executive Director and Our Hero Adam Browning is being called the Michael Jordan of solar policy.