IHS Markit has broken cover by being one of the first business intelligence firms to try and put a figure on how much Covid-19 will affect the solar market this year. The London-based analyst has predicted the world will add 105 GW of solar generation capacity this year, a figure 16% down on last year, with Covid-19 containment measures to be reduced gradually during the second and third quarters. Big solar markets in Europe, India and in Asia outside China and India are expected to be hardest hit but China will beat previous forecasts, with IHS predicting the government will subsidize PV to aid the recovery of a significant domestic industry which will add 45 GW this year. IHS Markit expects solar installations to fall back into line with the upward progress seen over the past decade from next year onwards.
U.S.-owned analyst Wood Mackenzie agreed things would return to normal next year in its weekly Covid-19 update. New projects will suffer during the first half of the year, according to WoodMac with Europe and the U.S. likely to suffer. Energy storage project deployment could fall 20% from the business-as-usual projection for this year, the analyst said, and electric vehicle sales could plunge 57%, year-on-year, due to manufacturing shutdowns and the effect of the anticipated economic fallout of the virus on consumer budgets.
WoodMac’s India analysts say the Covid-19 shutdown in the world’s second most populous nation could affect global demand for solar and projects are likely to be pushed into the third-quarter monsoon season, further delaying completion dates.
For the U.S., WoodMac envisages a best-case 16% fall in residential solar rooftop installation but the figure could rise as high as 34%, depending on the extent of Covid-19 disruption.
Italian trade body Italia Solar says 74% of PV businesses it surveyed this month reported a fall in orders, with the figure ranging from 10-80%. Over the next four months, the organization added, two out of five solar companies expect orders to more than halve before summer, thanks to restrictions on movement imposed by the government as it grapples with Covid-19.
The Spanish government on Sunday introduced a royal decree which will halt construction on solar and wind project sites for 15 days, as well as ending the manufacture of solar panels and wind turbines during that period.
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