Solar overtakes wind in global annual additions for first time: SPE

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Almost 42% more PV capacity was installed than wind around the world in 2016, according to SolarPower Europe and GWEC figures

Solar power shot past wind as the fastest growing renewable-energy technology for the first time last year, according to a new report by SolarPower Europe (SPE).

SPE’s Global Market Outlook 2017 shows that 76.6GW of solar was installed around the world in 2016 —almost 42% more than the 54GW of wind erected last year (as reported in April by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC)). The 2016 PV figure represents a massive 51% increase on the 50.6GW of solar installed globally in 2015.

The report also claims that solar is cheaper than wind, judging by recent tenders, pointing to the record-breaking $0.244/kWh 25-year power-purchase agreement awarded in Abu Dhabi last year.

A comparison of the SPE and GWEC figures shows that solar will continue to outpace wind in the coming years. SPE believes annual PV installations will increase to about 80.5GW in 2017, before growing by around 100GW annually between 2018 and 2021. By contrast, GWEC expects almost 60GW of new wind installations in 2017, growing to an annual market of 75GW by 2021.