PV 'to outstrip wind this year'

The world will add more PV capacity than wind in 2013, a first for the solar sector, according to a new estimate.

Some 36.7GW of PV will be added globally this year, compared to 35.5GW of wind (21% of it offshore), says Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

The shift is due to an expected 25% drop in global wind installations this year, a result in part caused by the fall-off in the US market, which looks likely to rebound again in 2014.

The global PV market, in contrast, is on track to grow nearly 15% in volume terms this year, although industry revenues are a different story, given the sharp sector-wide price decline.

“The dramatic cost reductions in PV, combined with new incentive regimes in Japan and China, are making possible further, strong growth in [PV] volumes,” says Jenny Chase, head of solar analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Over a longer term, wind – including offshore – and PV will “contribute almost equally” to new power generation globally, collectively accounting for more than 30% of global capacity by 2030.

Wind will expand from its current 5% share of global power generation capacity to 17% by 2030, the estimate finds, while PV will grow from 2% to 16%.