Residential rooftop solar installations. (Archive)

The rapid spread of the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has affected nearly every corner of the global economy. Earlier reports have stipulated a possible impact on the solar industry.

A new report by Wood Mackenzie (WoodMac), an industry market intelligence firm, confirms and states how the outbreak of COVID-19 will significantly impact the global solar PV market.

Construction and development activities are slowing down as countries around the world enforce unprecedented lockdown.

Against the backdrop of severe economic disruption, WoodMac has cut its 2020 global solar installations forecast by 18% to reflect the impact of the pandemic from 129.5 GW to 106.4 GW.

The firm says next year will be a challenging one for the solar industry as well by assuming that the economic damage caused by the pandemic and concurrent crash in oil prices will tip the world into recession this year.

Although WoodMac expects a strong economic recovery next year, it says projects that should be delivered in 2021 are being developed and financed today.

“Auctions are being delayed, [power-purchase agreement] negotiations [have been] halted and permitting is slowing down,” Tom Heggarty, principal analyst for solar at Wood Mackenzie, said in a statement to GTM. “Weak power prices and collapsing [forex] rates are severely damaging the economics of new investments across a wide range of countries. Projects that were slated for 2021 will be tougher to bring to market on time if they make it at all.”

Derick Lila
Derick is a Clark University graduate—and Fulbright alumni with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, and Policy. He has over a decade of solar industry research, marketing, and content strategy experience.

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