World reaches 1 TW of solar and wind

8/8/18, 11:02 AM -

The world has attained the landmark figure of 1,000 GW of solar and wind generation capacity installed. Bloomberg NEF estimates that the second terawatt will cost 46% less.

New output from the BNEF database shows that there were 1,013 GW of wind and solar PV generating capacity installed worldwide as of June 30, 2018. The 1 TW milestone would have been passed sometime just before this date. The total is finely balanced between wind (54%) and solar (46%).

65-fold growth of total installed capacity since 2000

Looking back on the first terawatt of wind and solar reveals just how far these two sectors have come. Total installed capacity has grown 65-fold since the year 2000, and more than quadrupled since 2010.

Striking growth of PV

Even more striking is the growth of solar PV alone. As recently as 2007, there was just 8 GW of PV capacity installed, compared with 89 GW of wind. Since then, PV has grown from just 8% of total installed wind and solar capacity, to 46%. In the process, PV installations grew 57-fold, with utility-scale PV overtaking small-scale PV in 2014. Wind still represents the majority of the installed base at 54%, but is likely to relinquish this lead soon.

Rapidly declining costs

BNEF estimates that the first 1TW of wind and solar required approximately $2.3 trillion of capital expenditure to deploy. The second terawatt will cost significantly less than the first. Based on estimates from the New Energy Outlook 2018, capital expenditures on wind and solar generation will total about $1.23 trillion from 2018 to 2022 inclusive. (HCN)

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