Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that 33.8GW of new onshore wind farms, plus 1.7GW of offshore wind, will be added globally in 2013. This compares with its median forecast of 36.7GW of new photovoltaic, or PV, capacity.
This year is set to be the first in which PV has added more megawatts than wind. In 2012, wind – onshore and offshore – added 46.6GW, while PV added 30.5GW, record figures in both cases. But in 2013, a slowdown in the world’s two largest wind markets, China and the US, is opening the way for the rapidly growing PV market to overtake wind.
Despite the change in rankings for 2013, the maturing sectors of onshore wind and PV will contribute almost equally to the world’s new electricity capacity additions between now and 2030, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. It forecasts that wind (on and offshore) will expand from 5% of the world’s total installed power generation capacity in 2012, to 17% in 2030. PV, from a lower base of 2% in 2012, will grow to 16% by 2030.
This rapid growth in renewable energy is likely to bypass nuclear energy contributions to global energy in the next few years. Current construction programs for nuclear power has only a dozen new plants in progress. Continued cost reductions in PV and wind will likely slow down both future nuclear and coal investments.