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Your Monday Briefings: All the Solar News (Week 16)

published: 2020-04-13 18:00

Welcome back to another busy week! We have divided Your Monday Briefings into 2 sections: the 1st section has all the solar news related to COVID-19 and the 2nd section has the solar news which has little to do with the pandemic. If you want to read news unrelated to the coronavirus, you can simply scroll down to the 2nd section of the article.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

This week, we are covering how COVID-19 has impacted on PV events, altered the BloombergNEF’s forecast of the PV market, what the governments are doing to save the economy from the coronavirus crisis, and many more!

COVID-19 Watch: COVID-19’s Impact on PV Events

Several trade shows are cancelled, postponed or moved to online platforms due to COVID-19. Here are the updates:

SunCast Virtual Summit
SunCast, which is to commence on April 22, will be held online. The event lasts 3 days. The main topics are about innovation, impact and Latin America.

The registration is not live yet. However, you may register now to be notified when the registration is live.

SOLAR 20/20
SOLAR 20/20 was initially scheduled to take place in Washington D.C.

However, the conference chair has announced that the event will now be hosted online and be consolidated into 2 days: June 24~25, with the Beyond Net-Zero Design Workshop and NABCEP courses taking place on GoToWebinar on June 26.

SNEC, the biggest PV trade show in the world, is postponed till October 9~11, which is right after the country’s golden week (Oct 1~Oct 7, 2020). The new venue is National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai).

Image from SNEC

COVID-19 Watch: COVID-19’s Impact on Market in General

BloombergNEF’s Pessimistic View of the PV Market
On March 13, BloombergNEF has downgraded its forecast of newly installed PV capacity for 2020. It also believes that the committed solar projects will be pushed back till 2021.

Commercial rooftop PV may not be hit as severely as the rest of the PV industry due to the fact that most of the projects were already in the pipeline in 2020. However, BloombergNEF also warns about the pipeline which will dry up in 2021.

However, there is still a glimmer of hope: PV installations do not subject all the involved parties to much human-to-human contact, therefore PV industry is likely to be one of those industries that could bounce back from the impact of COVID-19 faster than the other industries.

Source: pv magazine


Stimulus Package and PV
Governments from all over the world are offering all kinds of support in the form of policy change or stimulus package to help shoring up the economy.

There have been discussions regarding the U.S. Investment Tax Credit being included in the stimulus package of the U.S. government.

The Australian government has increased the instant asset write-off (IAWO) threshold from AU$30,000 to AU$150,000. The threshold could be applied on each of the acquired assets. Therefore the eligible companies are able to write-off several assets at once.

Source: pv magazine


Bumpy Road Ahead for the U.S. Residential PV
The nearly $2 trillion stimulus package signed by President Trump does not include any specifics regarding the renewable energy. However, the package could prove to be beneficial to the general economy, from which the renewable industry could also benefit.

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) warned that 50% of the jobs in the renewables could vanish.

Similar to BloombergNEF’s forecast, several PV developers have reported that cancellations or postponements of projects are the common response from their clients.

Despite all the doom and gloom in the majority of the reports, there is still a silver lining for the residential PV.

The coronavirus crisis has no doubted shrunk the household budget for most people, which, for some people, is exactly the reason why they would adopt residential PV now.

Given that they get to enjoy a reliable power supply without having to pay for the initial installation upfront, this is a great way to save money on their power bill.

Source: pv magazine


The Currency Fluctuations Could Harm the PV Industry
Australia perfectly illustrates how the local currency depreciation could harm its own PV industry.

Most of modules and inverters required for a PV power station are imported from elsewhere. The currency depreciation triggered by COVID-19 has made the capital costs of the power stations even higher.

And this is not limited to Australia. According to Bruegel, a European think tank, in Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay and South Africa, their local currencies have depreciated more than 15%. And Russia’s and Mexico’s currencies have depreciated more than 20%.

Source: pv magazine


And for those of you who are sick of COVID-19 news, here are the news that are not (entirely) related to COVID-19.

Regional Market


The Renewables Account for Almost 75% of New Capacity in 2019

According to IRENA’s latest report, the annual global installed capacity of the renewables has reached 176 GW in 2019. The cumulative installed PV capacity has reached 580.1 GW in 2019. And the cumulative installed capacity of the renewables has reached an astounding new high of 2,563.8 GW, which is up 7.4% YoY.

In 2019, the annual installed PV capacity has reached 97.5 GW, the annual wind power capacity installations 59 GW, the annual installed hydropower capacity 12 GW, the annual installed biomass capacity 6 GW, and the annual installed geothermal capacity 0.6 GW. Solar and wind power alone make up 90% of the renewable energy.



Australia’s Geelong city in the state of Victoria will host the country’s biggest battery, a 600 MW mammoth of battery storage system, which the French solar developer Neoen is commissioned to build.

The giant battery storage system will serve as the fast frequency response services to the National Electricity Market (NEM), support the electricity supply in Victoria and improve the reliability of the grid.

Source: pv magazine



1.National Energy Administration (NEA)

China’s National Energy Administration issued the "Energy Law of the People's Republic of China (Draft for Comment)" on April 10.

Among them, Article 48 states that the state would implement a system where the renewable energy could have priority access to the grid and its power generation is guaranteed to be purchased, which will be done according to the plan.

The power grid companies are advised to strengthen their construction of power grids, expand their scope of allocation for renewable energy. Moreover, smart power grids and energy storage technologies are to be developed, so that a system which enables energy-saving and low-carbon power dispatching could be established.


2.Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR)
Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region announced the "List of Key Projects in the Autonomous Region in 2020" last week.

In 2020, the region has 390 key projects with a total investment of US$238.6 billion (RMB 1.68 trillion), which includes:

  • 80 brand new key projects with a total investment of US$19.13 billion (RMB 134.6 billion)
  • 120 key preparatory projects with an estimated total investment of US$ 106.9 billion (RMB 752.3 billion).
  • These key projects include 190 key continued construction projects with a total investment of US$112.6 billion (RMB 792.5 billion).

The continued construction projects include 2 new energy projects, namely: Zhundong New Energy Base Project and Xinjiang Grid Parity Demonstration Project.



10 months after Vietnam’s previous FiT expired, the Vietnamese government has finally announced the new feed-in-tariffs for floating, rooftop, utility-scale PV projects. The new FiT are roughly within the expectations of the industry insiders.

According to the new rates, the purchase prices for different types of projects are as follows:

  • Floating PV projects: $0.0769/kWh for 20 years
  • Ground-mounted PV projects: $0.0709/kWh for 20 years.
  • Rooftop PV projects: $0.0838/kWh for 20 years

The projects that manage to connect to the grid by Dec. 31, 2020 will be eligible for the new FiT.

Source: pv magazine




Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL)

Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL), listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, released its 2020Q1 performance forecast on April 10th.

The company estimates that the net profit for the company shareholders in 2020Q1 will be RMB 733 million to RMB 838 million, down 20% to 30% year-on-year.

CATL cited the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the market as the reasons for the sharp drop in its installed capacity of the electric vehicles, which led to the decline of the power battery sales as well as net profit for the shareholders in 2020Q1.



The prices of LONGi’s 166 mm wafers have decreased again!

According to LONGi’s website, the P type M6 180μm Mono Wafers (166/223mm) have decreased from RMB 3.41 to RMB 3.26.

And the P type 158.75/223mm 180μm Mono Wafers have decreased from RMB 3.32 to RMB 3.17.

Both of them have decreased by RMB 0.15.

Image from LONGi

Source: LONGi


Tesla is planning to cut the salaries of employees and furlough the hourly workers until May 4. However, the salary cut is expected to last until the end of the second quarter. The staffing decision came after the COVID-19 related health orders were issued.

Source: CNBC

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