Global Wind, Solar Growth to Slow 2020 on Corona Crisis to 143 GW

Global additions of wind and solar power capacity are set to fall in 2020 for the first time in 20 years due to the coronavirus crisis, the International Energy Agency said Wednesday.
A revised forecast for 143 GW of capacity additions is 26 GW below October’s outlook with approximately 16 GW less solar and 10 GW less wind forecast for this year, it said.
“The COVID-19 crisis is hurting but not halting global growth in renewable power capacity,” the IEA said.
European renewables are set to account for the biggest downward revision, with 22 GW forecast versus 35 GW in October for 2020.
WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson told S&P Global Platts in an interview last week that he expected at least 12 GW new wind capacity to come online this year, some 30% below its pre-coronavirus forecast.
Policy response key
Next year, renewable power additions are forecast to rebound to the level reached in 2019, the IEA said.
But despite the rebound, growth for 2020 and 2021 combined is expected to be 10% lower than the IEA had previously forecast before the coronavirus outbreak with almost all markets affected except the US where investors are rushing to finish projects before tax credits expire.
“The resilience of renewable electricity to the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis is good news but cannot be taken for granted,” IEA executive director Fatih Birol said.
“Even before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the world needed to significantly accelerate the deployment of renewables to have a chance of meeting its energy and climate goals…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,” Birol said.
S&P Global Platts Analytics Tuesday cut its global wind and solar outlook from an already-reduced February figure by a further 12 GW to around 160 GW, but with a less sharp rebound in 2021.
“Uncertainties over manufacturing and supply chains have caused delays, but size and timing appear to be limited,” said Bruno Brunetti, Platts Analytics head of global power planning.
“Uncertainties around power demand recovery and lower fossil fuel prices have now become a concern, especially for renewables development in emerging markets,” potentially hampering subsidy-free project developments, Brunetti said.

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