The U.S. will add more solar power in 2013 than wind energy for the first time as wind projects slump and cheap panels spur demand for photovoltaic systems, according to the head of Duke Energy Corp. (DUK)’s renewable-energy development unit.
The U.S. may install 3 gigawatts to 4 gigawatts of wind turbines this year, and solar projects will probably exceed that, said Gregory Wolf, president of Duke Energy Renewables. The U.S. added 13.1 gigawatts of wind power last year, beating natural gas for the first time.
U.S. wind projects have come to a near-standstill this year on uncertainty over the fate of a federal tax credit that was set to expire Dec. 31. Wolf anticipates more solar projects going into operation in 2013 than wind farms after panel prices fell more than 60 percent in the last two years.
“I would expect a lot of momentum still on solar,” Wolf said in an interview yesterday.