Solar PV To Out-Pace Wind Power This Year


Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) predicts more solar panel capacity will be added around the world this year than wind power.

BNEF forecasts 33.8GW of new onshore wind farms and 1.7GW of offshore wind will be added this year along with 36.7GW of new PV capacity – the first time solar panels have outpaced wind.

“The dramatic cost reductions in PV, combined with new incentive regimes in Japan and China, are making possible further, strong growth in volumes,” said Jenny Chase, BNEF’s head of solar analysis.

Looking further ahead, BNEF believes onshore wind and PV will contribute almost equally to the world’s new electricity capacity installations between now and 2030.

It forecasts onshore and offshore wind combined will grow from representing 5% of the world’s total installed power generation capacity in 2012 to 17% in 2030. Solar panel based power generation will increase from 2%  in 2012 to 16% by 2030.

In other relatively recent news from the company, BNEF says development banks financed USD$109bn in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and electrical transmission and distribution last year. The 26 institutions covered by its analysis have financed a total of $425bn in clean energy investment since 2007.

Roughly half of the global total ($217bn out of $425bn) went to European projects.

Of all the sectors within renewables, large hydro secured the largest amount of funding, with $29.2bn of investment since 2007. Solar power projects received a total of $12.1b for the period.

Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), a German government-owned development bank based in Frankfurt, has been the biggest investor by a large margin; ploughing nearly $147b into clean energy between 2007 and 2012. Next on the leader-board is China Development Bank (CDB) at $77b.

This year BNEF expects at least another 15% growth in development bank financing; but this could be as much as 30% more if new entrants begin participating in the market.