How Covid-19 is affecting the Brazilian PV sector

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Brazilian consultancy Greener has surveyed solar companies in Brazil to evaluate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the PV sector.

The company spoke to 541 companies, with 75% of them represented by system integrators. “Analyzing the data for all segments, we note that a good part of the sector already feels the impacts of the current crisis,” Greener said.

Cost increase

According to the collected data, 71% of the surveyed companies have already lost orders, either by withdrawal or by postponement, while another 85% have already noted a reduction in PV system demand. Around 70% of companies now have their employees working from home.

Greener reports that 50% of businesses have already been affected by an increase in PV system costs, due to the fall of the Brazilian currency in recent weeks. Around 49.2% of the respondents said that they are concerned about the rise in PV system prices.

Other concerns are logistical issues (23.5%), the availability of PV systems in the market (17.2%), grid-connection issues (11.8%), PV module supply (10.5%), and inverter supply (8.5%), with a series of minor issues accounting for the remaining percentage.

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As for the large-scale segment, Greener reports that around 60% of investors and developers have been affected by an increase in the cost of equipment. “On the other hand, the nature of energy supply contracts for a large part of large-scale projects provides for a medium and long-term implementation horizon, which brings greater flexibility allowing most important expenses to be made under more favorable market conditions,” the consultancy said.

Key advice

Greener also provided a series of suggestions on how to cope with the difficult market conditions created by the Covid-19 pandemic. “Despite the impacts that this unprecedented crisis can bring to the whole of society, we emphasize the importance of companies acting rationally in this moment of uncertainty,” it warned.

The list of recommendations includes:

  • Ensure the safety and health of the team and follow the recommendations of the authorities
  • Identify the main risks and seek alternatives to mitigate them
  • Map your company’s fixed and variable costs and seek to optimize expenses
  • Negotiate payment terms and conditions
  • Check if suppliers are experiencing pandemic-related issues of any kind
  • Strengthen your brand and push innovation in the way you communicate
  • Strengthen your team in the post-crisis period and invest in training
  • Work remotely when possible and ensure that employees strictly follow hygiene and health advice
  • Quarantine employees who may be infected

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