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Your Monday Briefings: All the Solar News (Week 15)

published: 2020-04-06 18:35

Welcome back to another busy week! We are covering how the experts think COVID-19 would impact the European PPA market, what companies are doing to help COVID-19 and many more!

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

COVID-19 Watch: Regional Markets

COVID-19’s impact on European PPA market

pv magazine has interviewed the 5 following PV industry insiders about how COVID-19 would impact on the PPA market in Europe, and this is what it found.

Enervis, an energy advisory from Germany: COVID-19 has rendered the PPA solar projects financially impossible due to the full cost of the solar projects. However, the advisory is hopeful that the economy would be suitable for the PPA business model.

AleaSoft, an energy forecasting service from Spain: Now there is no demand for unsubsidized solar projects, because it is practically impossible to predict the price trend. The current chaos in the PV industry could serve as a cautionary tale to those who were mistaken that “electricity prices would have stayed always high.”

REF-E, an energy consultancy from Italy: Concurring with AleaSoft’s comment, REF-E also believed it is too early to predict the future, namely how much damage the pandemic has caused to the PV industry. Amid the uncertainty, what could be expected are the delayed projects, projects of smaller margins being shun by the investors, little investment in solar projects and very few new competitors joining the industry.

LevelTen Energy, a trading advisory from the U.S.: Interestingly, the prediction offered by LevelTen Energy is much less ominous than its counterparts in Europe: COVID-19 would have a limited impact on the clean energy industry. The reason for its confidence is well-founded: PPAs are essentially corporate procurement, which is essentially less sensitive to the temporary economic turbulence. Moreover, the steep decline in prices can be mitigated by the fact that most developers have long-term purchase agreement, which protects their financial interest.

Rystad Energy, a consultancy from Norway: The solar and wind power markets will be severely hit by COVID-19, because many currencies in the world will depreciate against the US dollar.And the US dollar is usually the currency, in which the PV projects are traded. Australia, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa, in particular, will bear the brunt of their currency depreciations, which would lead to a spike in the capital cost of PV installations.

Source: pv magazine

Over-Reliance on China’s PV Supply Chain

According to Asian Development Bank, COVID-19 crisis has exposed Asia’s and the Pacific’s heavy reliance on the Chinese PV supply chain. The European and American PV industries are also struggling to compete with their Chinese competitors, even though they have made it challenging for the Chinese manufacturers to enter their markets.

Source: pv magazine


COVID-19 Watch: Companies


German manufacturer Tesvolt pushed its commercial storage system production forward in spite of COVID-19 concern. The company has taken extra precautions to address the health and safety issue, such as having its production staff to work in isolation. The production facility is situated in a 12,000-square-meter compound, of which the established annual capacity is 255 MWh at the moment. Tesvolt hopes to ramp it up to 1 GWh.

Source: pv magazine

Meyer Burger

In an effort to combat coronavirus crisis, Swiss PV manufacturer Meyer Burger’s staff in the Hohenstein-Ernstthal site (Germany) have been working fewer hours since March 16. And the same measure will be extended to its Swiss sites in Thun and Hauterive. The directors and executive board also agreed on a 15% reduction in their salaries and compensation package during COVID-19 “as a sign of solidarity”.

Source: pv magazine


EnergyNet addresses COVID-19’s impact on the Africa Energy Forum, which is planned to take place in Barcelona, Spain from June 30 to July 3. Should the event be postponed, the tickets or sponsorship package that were already sold could be used on the new dates of the event or on the event in 2021.

Source: pv magazine


It is still uncertain how much damage the pandemic has caused the PV industry. Although ABB has announced that its operations in China are back to normal, ABB has nonetheless decided against disclosing any forecasts for 2020.

In order to help fight COVID-19, the company’s board of directors and executive committee have agreed to a 10% cut in their salaries and board remunerations during the outbreak. Other members of senior management are encouraged to follow suit.

Source: pv magazine

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