That’s a take-away from the Clean Edge’s “Clean Energy Trends 2014” report released today (March 26). The report found that just in terms in photovoltaics the world installed 36.5 gigawatts of PV as opposed to 35.5 gigawatts of wind.
While it’s not exactly a complete blow-down, it’s a significant change in the clean energy sector since sun power has been chasing wind power since at least dawning of the millennium. “For the first time since Clean Edge began tracking global markets in 2000, the world installed more new solar photovoltaic generating capacity,” the report stated. The growth was driven by record-breaking levels of solar panel deployment in China (12 gigawatts), Japan (7 gigawatts), and the U.S. (4.2 gigawatts—beating Germany at 3.3 gigawatts for the first time in at least a decade).
The impact of increased solar deployment was increased by much lower deployment in the wind industry, according to the report. Clean Edge found that wind power deployment in 2013 fell to 35.5 gigawatts from 44.7 gigawatts the year before. The company added it was the weakest year for wind since 2008. Online China added more wind (16.1 gigawatts) in 2013 than in previous years, meanwhile the U.S. deployed less than 1 gigawatt of wind in 2013, the report said. “we project modest growth to return in 2014 and to continue over the next decade, with the industry expanding to $93.8 billion in 2023. However, “We project modest growth to return in 2014 and to continue over the next decade, with the industry expanding to $93.8 billion in 2023,” Clean Edge conjectured.
Solar power, on the other hand, saw record value growth of 18 percent, according to the report. “Solar photovoltaics (including modules, system components, and installation) grew to $91.3 billion from $79.7 billion in 2012, with a record 36.5 GW installed globally,” the report said. Those figures are largely in line with some recently announced projections for the full-year 2013 installation figures, like those mentioned in Mercom’s projections last week.
Overall the report observed that the use of clean energy is growing around the world—even if policies and financial issues are still affecting its speed of adoption. “The adoption of clean energy is set against a bigger-picture context that finds many of the world’s largest energy-using nations struggling with critical choices for their energy future,” said Ron Pernick, Clean Edge co-founder and managing director. “Climate disruptions, smog alerts, planned and unplanned nuclear power shutdowns, and resource scarcity are all driving significant change, accelerating the double-digit adoption growth of solar PV, hybrid and electric vehicles, green buildings, and other clean-tech solutions.”
The drop in PV costs was one factor in the increased deployment of solar. The report found that though the drops in PV costs slowed from 2011 and 2012, it still fell three percent to $2.50 per watt installed. It also anticipated that the cost of installed solar will fall to $1.21 per watt by 2023.Tweet