PV again tops wind in EU in 2013

New installations of solar PV once again topped wind in the EU last year, although the gap narrowed significantly.

Some 11,010MW of PV capacity was added last year across the EU, compared to 10,917MW of wind, according to new figures from the European Wind Energy Association.

By comparison, PV had an edge of nearly 5GW over wind in 2012.

2013 will likely prove the first year in which more PV was added globally than wind, some analysts have predicted, although the final figures are not yet in.

Wind and PV collectively accounted for 63% of the EU’s new generation capacity last year, crushing other technologies like gas, which accounted for 22% of new capacity, coal (5.5%) and biomass (4%).

While 7.5GW of new gas capacity was added, another 10GW of existing capacity was decommissioned, meaning that gas lost significant ground within Europe’s overall energy system.  

Despite several impressive countrywide performances, the overall European wind market shrank by 8% last year due to “significant volatility” across various countries, EWEA says.

Just two countries – Germany and the UK – accounted for 45% of Europe’s wind installations last year, a level of concentration not seen since 2007, when Denmark, Germany and Spain dominated the market.

By the end of 2013, wind accounted for 13% of Europe’s installed power-generation capacity, up from just 2% in 2000, according to Brussels-based EWEA.

PV’s share grew from practically nothing to 9% during the same period, while coal’s share fell from 25% to 17%.