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

COVID-19

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.

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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.

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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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