Distributed solar and storage forecasts keeps going down, while module prices in U.S. decline


The Wood Mackenzie Energy Transition Practice team is writing a weekly update on the coronavirus and its impact on the global power and renewables industry. This week’s expresses further concern for distributed, non-utility solar and storage installations.

Solar: 2020 solar installations have been revised down by 18% from pre-coronavirus levels from 129.5 GW to 106.4 GW. In the absence of prolonged recession or profound changes to financing and utility procurement, 2021 will recover to be 3% below pre-coronavirus expected levels. While the utility-scale impact will primarily see timelines shift, residential and C&I installations will struggle as customers come under significant economic pressure even past the lockdown.

Module prices in Europe and the US are starting to decline as demand impacts materialise, with the US seeing its first price decline in the first week of April.

Storage: Coronavirus could lower 2020 installations by 20% compared to our 2020 base case, with the risk stemming largely from project execution delays. Positive growth over 2019 is expected in both scenarios, as well as a return to pre-coronavirus impact levels in 2021. Like solar, distributed storage risk is more acute.

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