This year, for the first time ever, new solar power is set to add more power capacity to global energy than wind power, according to a report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
New solar PV capacity is expected to reach 36.7 gigawatts globally this year. New wind power capacity is expected to hit 35.5 gigawatts, including 33.8 from onshore wind farms and 1.7 gigawatts from offshore wind farms. Last year wind power added 46.6 gigawatts and solar power added 30.5 gigawatts. Both were record figures but solar will increase again this year, while wind will drop a little.
There have been new incentives put in place for the development of solar in two major markets, Japan and China, and solar PV has also experienced significant cost declines. While the historically strong market in Europe has slowed a little, a lot of capacity is still being added there annually. In particular, Germany’s commitment to transition its heavily industrialized economy to renewable energy remains steadfast.
Solar PV is expected to grow from 2% of the world’s energy generation in 2012 to about 16% in 2030; although, some have famously predicted that it could well be more, a lot more. At this point, the rise of solar power seems unstoppable.