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Solar outpaced wind in 2013; clean energy revenues to hit $400B by 2023

The newest report from clean energy researchers Clean Edge, Inc. shows installed solar capacity costs will drop by seven per cent annually.

March 27, 2014  by Michael Ouellette, Editor

VANCOUVER—The world installed more new solar photovoltaic (PV) generating capacity than wind power capacity in 2013, according to a new report.

Installed solar PV generation hit 36.5 gigawatts in 2013, compared to 35.5 of installed wind power capacity.

Unveiled at GLOBE 2014, a global low-carbon conference underway in Vancouver, the analysis of 2013 clean energy trends was produced by cleantech research and advisory firm Clean Edge, Inc.

The Oregon-based advisory said increased solar deployment in China, Japan, and the U.S., combined with a down year in the wind industry, made 2013 the first time since Clean Edge began tracking global markets in 2000 that solar installation outpaced wind.


However, total global wind power capacity is still more than double that of solar capacity.

Clean Edge projects double-digit growth rates in solar throughout the next decade will eventually push wind capacity from the top green-energy spot.

Installed solar costs are expected to fall by about seven per cent annually, pushing global cumulative installed solar PV capacity to 715.8 gigawatts by 2012, surpassing wind power’s projected 697.3 GW in that year.

Overall, combined global revenue for solar PV, wind power and biofuels declined slightly to $247.6 billion from $248.7
billion in 2012.

The Clean Edge report says global solar capacity’s 18 per cent growth, combined with a modest uptick in biofuels,
was not enough to overcome a lackluster year for the wind industry.

The report forecasts these three clean-energy sectors combined will expand from $247.6 billion in 2013 to $397.9 billion in 2023.

Download the free Clean Energy Trends 2014 report here