Connecting...

How Coronavirus Is Impacting the Renewable Energy Supply Chain

20 Apr 14:00 by Steve Walia

W1siziisijiwmjavmtavmjmvmtmvmzgvmzivmza0lzexmzg1ndi2nv9zlmpwzyjdlfsiccisinrodw1iiiwiodawedq1mcmixv0

The coronavirus pandemic has already caused global turmoil, with nations locked-down, stock markets in freefall and the prospect of recession and mass unemployment as a result. And it is perhaps inevitable that the renewable energy markets are also being impacted, with developers facing the challenges of an uncertain global supply chain.

 

The industry is particularly worried about delays to projects, with no clear or specific funding awarded to the industry in the interim other than general business continuity loans, which have so far been very slow to materialise.

 

Renewable energy developers realise that the pandemic will cause inevitable disruptions, but there is no clarity yet on whether these disruptions will get worse and how long they will last for. The result is a paralysed economy, with business leaders awaiting daily government briefings.

 

Workers are being sent home on furlough or are being laid off as industry bosses attempt to plan for the near future. One of the main problems, of course, is that China is a primary manufacturer of key components such as solar PV panels, and with Chinese factories largely still being closed or limited in their operation, supply essentials are likely to take some time to arrive - with scheduled logistics still in disarray and operating within the confines of quarantine and limited workforces.

 

At least there is hope in the form of a limited recession when coronavirus lockdowns are lifted. Economists have suggested 'V' and 'U' shaped models, which suggest that pent up demand and supply should be released quickly once restrictions are removed. But with a vaccine to the virus still likely to be a year or more away, it may well be that these restrictions are in place for some time yet, and renewable projects may be halted in the meantime.