Solar Power Installations Jump to a New Annual Total

 

The year 2013 saw record-breaking growth for solar electricity generation as the photovoltaic (PV) and concentrated solar thermal power (CSP) markets continued to grow.1 With over 39 gigawatts (GW) installed worldwide in 2013, the PV solar market represented one third of all added renewable energy capacity.2 Solar PV installations nearly matched those of hydropower and, for the first time, outpaced wind additions.3 Global PV capacity topped 139 GW.4 (See Figure 1.) Additionally, CSP grew by 900 megawatts (MW), bringing its capacity to 3.4 GW.5 Solar PV and CSP together accounted for 18.7 percent of global net additions of power-generating capacity in 2013 from all types of energy.6 

Solar Power Figure 1

For the first time, Asia overtook Europe as the largest regional market, capturing more than 56 percent of the market share, while Europe came in second with around 29 percent.7

Despite the record growth in installations, global investments in solar electricity were down 20 percent, from $142.9 billion in 2012 to $113.7 billion in 2013, reflecting a significant decrease in costs.8 (See Figure 2.) In July 2014, global PV module spot prices reached an all-time low of 63ȼ per watt, a 10 percent decrease from the previous year.9

For full access to the complete trend and its associated charts, log in to Vital Signs or:

Subscribe to all vital signs trends
OR
Purchase This Trend

Annual subscribers to Vital Signs Online have full access to all our trends and charts.

The Worldwatch Institute is an independent research organization known around the world for its accessible, fact-based analysis of critical global issues. Learn More