The global solar demand may increase by 5% year-on-year in 2020 despite the Covid-19 crisis, according to a new report by research firm Wood Mackenzie. If confirmed, this growth would mean a newly installed PV capacity of around 115 GW for this year.
“The most severe of lockdowns have ended in almost all countries, with construction on PV sites able to continue as planned, albeit with many projects facing delays caused by disruption earlier in 2020,” Woodmac analyst, Ravi Manghani, stated, adding that further growth will continue in the following years to reach 145 GW in 2025. “The one exception will be 2024, when the U.S. market will slow following the final stepdown in the ITC schedule,” he further explained.
India is forecast to see a strong drop in new capacity, due to severe measures to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. “Indian PV installations will sit at just 4.9 GW in 2020, down 42% on 2019 and the lowest level since 2016,” Manghani said.
By contrast, China is expected to be once again the world’s largest PV market this year, with around 39 GW of new PV additions. “Of this total, 27 GW will be installed in the second half of the year,” Manghani said. “The pipelines for both subsidy-free and auctioned projects have ballooned in 2020 and the Chinese market will grow by 30% year-on-year despite short-term supply chain disruption delaying module procurement for some developers.”
With the exception of the newly installed capacity for Germany, which is expected to reach 4.5 GW in 2020, the analyst didn’t provide specific figures for other regions.
Referring to the U.S. market, he said: “In the U.S., utility scale timelines have been largely unchanged due to the pandemic although persistent shelter-in-place orders have driven a 23% drop in residential installations QoQ and a 19% QoQ drop in non-residential installations. However, even in the distributed segments, installers have largely managed to overcome delays using virtual sales and permitting platforms.”
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