The wind power market will suffer 12% loss this year due to COVID-19, but grow by 17% in 2021 as the industry recovers, forecast BloombergNEF (BNEF) analysts at a seminar covering impacts of the pandemic on wind and solar sectors held on April 22.
Despite the pandemic, the wind market is expected to resume growth next year, as BNEF sees long-term growth drivers intact.
Basing on a scenario that most countries will be lifting coronavirus measures after three months of lockdown, BNEF projects that most countries will return to growth by the last quarter of the year.
Global wind and solar industry as of mid-April
The pandemic affects the wind and solar industries in various ways, including construction, manufacturing, and auction process. While Spain and India halted the construction of projects due to lockdown measures, projects worldwide are still underway, although the progress has slowed amid disruptions in logistics and transportation.
On the manufacturing side, factories in countries except India, Spain, and Italy remain partially operational. However, strict prevention measures imposed by governments have disrupted supply chain operations, leaving capacity underused.
The pandemic has delayed auctions for solar and wind projects in Brazil, France, India and Portugal, sending these markets into a pause mode. Whether they will relaunch auctions remains to be seen. Unlike the solar sector, which saw 40% of the capacity to be contracted through auctions postponed, impact on offshore wind is limited.
In Australia, up to 3 GW of renewable energy projects have been cancelled or postponed due to financial issue. The pandemic has also brought India to a shuddering halt, delaying 21%, or 3 GW of wind and solar projects amid supply chain disruptions.
Green policy delays
Wind energy is intricately linked with green policy, legislations, and simulations. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted governments’ efforts toward a greener future. For example, the European Green Deal, a major factor in the upcoming seven-year budget, may face delays for several weeks, because the European Commission is reordering “essential items” as COVID-19 wreaks havoc on legislative work and planning.
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