The World Built More Solar Capacity Than Wind Capacity For The First Time Ever This Year

For the first time ever, the world will have ended the year installing more new solar capacity than wind, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Photovoltaic plants will add about 36.7 gigawatts globally in 2013, a 20% jump from last year. Wind will only add 35.5 gigawatts, down from 25% in 2012.

“The dramatic cost reductions in photovoltaics, 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.

Meanwhile in the U.S., the amount of new solar capacity installed in 2013 through October — 2,528 megawatts — is nearly double the amount installed for wind, at 1,027 megawatts, for the same period, according to FERC.

And in terms of net generation, solar’s 6,407 megawatt hours through September is 92% higher than it was through September 2012. For wind, the figure is just 22% higher, according to the EIA, though at 123,978 megawatt hours the overall amount of power generated by wind remains several orders of magnitude larger than solar. Monthly solar net generation growth in 2013 averaged 17% through September; for wind, monthly average growth was 0%. Here’s the chart:

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