Opportunities and Challenges for solar and storage under COVID-19

Covid-19 has drastically change our reality in just a few months, and will certainly have an impact in our near future. What has the early response of the renewable energy market been? What are the new challenges the industry will have to face in the short and long term? and what role can green energy play in the economic recovery?


Today, let’s try to address these questions.

Covid-19 poses a completely new setting in all fronts, but how does it impact the renewable energy market? Well, besides toilet paper, this new economic scenario has resulted in an unprecedented uprise in Solar Energy and Storage consultations and sales, as it is critical under such circumstances to obtain a reliable, low-cost electricity supply.


Smart Energy’s managing director, Elliot Hayes, has stated that the main factor contributing to a 40% increase in sales are consumers looking for greener energy sources after a summer filled with natural disasters around the country including bushfires and floods. Home and business owners are also seeking to find reliable, lower cost solutions for energy supply against Australia’s economic downturn.

Against this forecast, the question that remains is whether the world’s primary solar equipment manufacturer, China, will be able to meet this increased demand. According to BloombergNEF’s outlook for the PV industry, the country has already resumed production. However, it has already pushed various PV projects into next year. This, together with the increased world demand suggests there will be a short-term shortage.


Another good news is the Australian Government has included renewable energy as part of the $17.6 billion Economic Response Package to Covid-19, making evident that it will play a key part in the economic boost to come by supporting the industry. This measure has been celebrated by the Clean Energy Council (CEC), which believe that by making renewable energy and energy storage a key part of the relief packages for home-owners and businesses, not only can energy costs for consumers be reduced, but jobs in the renewable industry can be saved, and it could result in a driver for economic boost.


The pandemic caused by Covid-19 has definitely caused a lot of anxiety and uncertainty in the current markets and households around the world. However, one thing remains certain, Renewable Energy as a whole and Solar energy especially, are a means to gaining control of our electricity bills and can be critical for businesses to pull through this crisis and boost their earnings after the most critical period has passed.


References


Matish B. 2020, Forget toilet paper, consumers are panic buying solar. PV Magazine, viewed 30 March 2020. <https://www.pv-magazine-australia.com/2020/03/19/forget-toilet-paper-consumers-are-panic-buying-solar-pv/>


Enkhardt S. 2020, BNEF lowers 2020 global PV outlook due to coronavirus concerns. PV Magazine, viewed 30 March 2020.

https://www.pv-magazine-australia.com/2020/03/14/bnef-lowers-2020-global-pv-outlook-due-to-coronavirus-concerns/


Australian Government 2020, Economic Response to the Coronavirus.Department of Treasury, viewed 30 March 2020. https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-03/Overview-Economic_Response_to_the_Coronavirus.pdf


Clean Energy Council 2020, Future Covid-19 Restrictions Must Recognise Essential Nature Of Renewable Energy.Clean Energy Council Articles, viewed 30 March 2020.

https://www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au/news/future-covid-19-restrictions-must-recognise-essential-nature-of-renewable-energy


Clean Energy Council 2020, Time For A Clean Energy Stimulus Package.Clean Energy Council Articles, viewed 30 March 2020.

https://www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au/news/future-covid-19-restrictions-must-recognise-essential-nature-of-renewable-energy


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