Tuesday, 02 June, 2020

COVID-19: New renewables capacity to 'fall 13%'

COVID-19: New renewables capacity to 'fall 13%' Distributed solar sector to rebound ‘significantly slower’ than other renewables post COVID-19
Sandy Nunez | 22 May, 2020, 16:57

The IEA expects the amount of new renewable energy rolling out this year to fall by a third to its lowest annual growth rate since 1996.

It added that despite government efforts to strengthen the performance of discoms, the pending payments due to all electricity generators increased by 48 per cent in 2019, and nearly doubled in the case of renewables generators, a trend that continued in the first quarter of 2020.

The experts had at different fora lamented the huge cost associated with renewable energy components which are about 100 per cent imported into the country, thus increasing the cost of access to power through renewable.

The anticipated 13 per cent fall in net additions of renewable electricity capacity compared to 2019 - largely due to delays in construction activity due to supply chain disruption, lockdown measures and social-distancing guidelines, and emerging financing challenges - still represents a 6 per cent increase in global installed capacity - more than the combined size of power systems in both North America and Europe.

However, the growth is expected to resume next year as most of the delayed projects come online and assuming a continuation of supportive government policies.

While that'll see the level of new renewable power return to 2019 levels, it'll still be about 10% below what the IEA had previously forecast for this year and 2021. Onshore wind installations are also affected by commissioning delays, although they are mostly compensated for in 2021 as the majority of projects in the pipeline are already financed and under construction. Even before the COIVID-19 pandemic struck, the world needed to significantly accelerate the deployment of renewables to have a chance of meeting its energy and climate goals. The commissioning of two mega hydropower projects in China in 2021 supports the overall rebound of renewables.

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The impact of the crisis on offshore wind deployment is set to remain limited in 2020 and 2021, because projects have longer construction periods than onshore ones. "Governments must not lose sight of the essential task of stepping up clean energy transitions to enable us to emerge from the crisis on a secure and sustainable path".

Dr Fatih Birol, executive director of the IEA, said the resilience of renewable electricity in the face of the global pandemic - which has inflicted huge damage on the oil and coal industries - was positive news, but that its success "cannot be taken for granted".

"The continued decline in renewable energy costs alone will not be enough to shelter the industry from the current crisis".

The IEA made the projection in its Renewable Market Update report.

Global electric vehicle (EV) sales are expected to grow in 2020, despite the pandemic-hit auto industry.

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