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The world installed 36.5 GW of new solar photovoltaic generating capacity in 2013, surpassing the 35.5 GW of wind power installations, according to cleantech research and advisory firm Clean Edge Inc. The company notes that solar outpaced wind for the first time since it began tracking global markets in 2000.

Clean Edge cites record levels of new solar deployment in China, Japan and the U.S. and a down year in the wind industry as the reasons for the development.

According to the Clean Energy Trends 2014 report, the global solar market's continued double-digit growth of 15% and a modest uptick in biofuels' market size were not enough to overcome the wind industry's lackluster performance. As a result, Clean Edge says the combined global revenue for solar photovoltaics, wind power and biofuels held nearly steady at $247.6 billion, down just slightly from $248.7 billion in 2012.

The firm reports that solar photovoltaics, including modules, system components and installation, grew to $91.3 billion from $79.7 billion in 2012. Meanwhile, wind power, including new installation capital costs, fell to $58.5 billion from $73.8 billion in 2012. In terms of capacity, the wind industry had its weakest performance since 2008.

The solar and wind industries, along with the biofuels sector, will expand to $397.8 billion within a decade, Clean Edge adds.

Furthermore, the firm says that according to data provided by Cleantech Group, venture capital investments in U.S.-based cleantech companies totaled $4.4 billion in 2013, falling 25% from $5.8 billion in 2012.

The full Clean Energy Trends 2014 report can be downloaded here.


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