Plus, there is hope of a bright new dawn with proposed legislative changes in Europe and the U.S. even as the solar equipment industry hits new lows and cyber attacks reportedly increase in frequency.
Corporate power purchase agreements and the combination of PV plants with hydrogen production open up new medium-term financing opportunities for solar projects, as was demonstrated at the fourth session of the pv magazine Roundtable Europe event. The evolution of corporate deals may have been slowed by current price developments but hydrogen may come sooner than many had predicted.
SolarPower Europe has predicted the volume of new PV capacity added this year will be 4% less than last year’s figure because of the Covid-19 crisis. At the end of 2019, the world had topped 630 GW of solar. For 2020, around 112 GW of new PV capacity is expected, and in 2021, newly installed capacity could be 149.9 GW if governments support renewables in their coronavirus economic recovery plans.
Analysts appear divided on the effects the public health crisis will have on the EV market even as sales of petrol-engined SUVs soar in China. And Portugal is plowing on with its Covid-delayed national solar tender, an exercise which may help establish whether clean energy thinktank Ieefa is right to predict PV prices will continue to fall.
The EU research group tasked with optimizing renewable energy auction procurement processes said the achievement of climate change goals brought about by plunging energy demand should not endanger longer-term ambitions.
Portugal set a new coal-free record because of the pandemic as Belgium and Israel moved to help the renewables industry. But there was grim news in Mexico and Turkey, and Bangladeshi clean energy firms have appealed for more assistance.
The unfolding effects of the Covid-19 crisis, and fears of a possible second wave, have split analysts trying to guess how the unsubsidized renewables market will emerge as slumping demand continued to distort power markets. pv magazine rounds up the week’s coronavirus developments.
The Ministry of Environment and Climate Action will permit 220 self-consumption projects with generation capacities of no more than 1 MW to be connected immediately. The usual long-winded permitting process has been side-stepped as the government seeks to enable financially-stricken enterprises to benefit from lower energy bills during the public health crisis.
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