Prospects for solar power improve as industry expansion accelerates – PV Magazine International
World Solar Council survey indicates positive outlook for post-pandemic scenario
World Solar Council
The outlook for the global solar PV industry improved further in early 2021, as sentiment in the industry improves and policymakers in various regions agree on investments and concrete measures to support a spectacular growth in renewable energies.
The optimistic outlook emerged this month in a Global Solar Council survey of its members – made up of national and regional solar associations – as well as leading solar companies and was reinforced by experts during a GSC webinar. on post-pandemic scenarios. Preliminary survey results show an improving outlook for the solar business, with 64% of respondents predicting double-digit sales growth in 2021, compared to 60% who reported such an expansion in 2020. The survey found also highlighted a greater endorsement of how governments are supporting PV in terms of post-pandemic plans and ecological recovery policies compared to the support provided amid the health emergency in 2020.
Jose Donoso, President of the Global Solar Council, declared: “Solar PV is essential for a full economic recovery and essential for meeting the more ambitious decarbonization targets of many countries around the world. As emerges from the GSC survey, there is still room for more support from governments, especially in terms of improving authorizations and simplifying authorization procedures, better rules for access to electricity market, better financing conditions and mechanisms, tax cuts and -production. “
Industry experts contributed to the webinar, reporting the latest updates and forecasts from around the world. According to Paolo Frankl, Head of the Renewable Energy Division at the International Energy Agency (IEA), the current unprecedented scenario paves the way for a historically important COP26 meeting: after the pandemic, the biggest drop in global energy demand since World War II (-4% in 2020, with growth coming only from renewable energies and solar photovoltaic in particular), there has been exceptional political momentum in favor of the transition to clean energy as countries increase their reduction targets emissions and are planning the biggest green stimulus packages in economic history.
On the European front, the CEO of Solar Power Europe (SPE), Walburga Hemetsberger, mentionned: “The EU solar sector has shown impressive resilience in 2020, despite COVID-19, and we can proudly rely on double-digit growth, with 18.2 GW of installations. As the cheapest source of electricity in history, and also the most job-intensive and versatile renewable energy technology, solar is a key driver of Europe’s green recovery and climate goals and energies of the Green Deal. “
The scenario is also promising on the American side. “Despite the pandemic and four years of unnecessary federal policies, thanks to increased profitability, strong consumer demand and ambitious state renewable energy targets, 2020 has been a banner year for the state renewables industry. United with nearly 19 gigawatts of new solar power capacity installed. . In fact, last year, renewable energy was the largest source of private sector infrastructure investment in the United States, ”said Gregory Wetstone, President and CEO of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE). “We now have a presidential administration that is taking unprecedented steps to catalyze an accelerated transition to clean energy and address the climate crisis. ACORE looks forward to working with the Biden administration to advance this historic effort, helping to deliver the clean energy future Americans want and scientists say we need.
A significant boost can come from China, as claimed Yiyang Liu, Deputy Secretary General of the China Photovoltaic Industry Association (CPIA). “Last year, China installed more than 48.2 GW of solar power, the second highest level ever, ” he commented. “Solar energy has produced 3.5% of the total electricity production in China and this means that we still have great potential to develop solar energy. Investors see this potential and are investing new money in the industry, so growing installed capacity in 2021 can help lower the cost and price of PV globally. The future of the solar sector is very bright.
“Despite the heterogeneity and different problems in the Latin American region such as financial barriers in Argentina, the uncertainty of the legal framework in Mexico, the inability to go faster than usual in Brazil, and much sure the pandemic, in 2021 we expect huge growth in several countries, ” mentionned Marcelo Alvarez, Coordinator of the Latin America Working Group of the World Solar Council and President of Camara Argentina de Energia Renovable (CADER). “Many PPAs have been signed, calls for tenders are underway in Mexico, Colombia, Brazil and Argentina, we are witnessing enormous growth in terms of medium-sized plants (200 kW-9 MW), especially in Chile, and Costa Rica is the first Latam country to engage. decarbonization by 2030. For the sector to grow faster, some countries need to finalize their decarbonization roadmaps to enable foreign investors to understand what is happening in the next 10 years. “
“The World Solar Council strongly believes in the importance of giving voice to industry players, of all sizes, in all countries and throughout the value chain” concluded Gianni Chianetta, CEO of the Global Solar Council. “We also need to explore ways for other countries to follow the lead of the EU and the US as they raise ambitions in their plans and goals. Emerging countries must be supported by long-term measures capable of financing their recovery, such as carbon pricing. “
The Global Solar Council’s survey aims to produce a snapshot of the current health of the sector and gather information on possible post-pandemic scenarios for the solar market and prospects for a green recovery, to ultimately understand the opportunities and obstacles to solar development at this very important stage. stage of the energy transition. The results will be published in the Global Market Outlook 2021 produced by SolarPower Europe in cooperation with GSC. The main results will be presented during the GSC side event at COP26.