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Coronavirus Outbreak Hits Solar Power Development In Asia

The coronavirus outbreak is impacting the energy sector beyond the depressed oil demand in the world’s top oil importer and key oil demand growth driver, China.

Due to factory shutdowns and production disruptions, exports of solar panels and other components out of China are being delayed, disrupting the supply chain of the solar power industries and affecting solar projects in Asia.   

India, for example, already experiences delays in solar projects as imports of solar panels and solar modules from China are being delayed because of the coronavirus outbreak, developers and industry executives told Indian outlet Economic Times.

India, which imports 90 percent of the solar panels and modules from China and Malaysia, braces for weeks-long delays in procurement, which is pushing commissioning deadlines for solar projects further out, executives told Economic Times.  

According to Ashish Khanna, chief executive at Tata Power Solar, many manufacturing sites in China have not resumed production of solar panels and other components after the extended Lunar New Year holiday break.

Developers who buy solar components on a spot basis and need those panels and other parts within weeks will see an impact from the delayed shipments, a solar developer told Economic Times.

In Australia, companies installing solar projects have been warned by Chinese suppliers that there could be delays in deliveries of solar panels and other crucial solar equipment such as inverters, Renew Economy reported last week.

The coronavirus outbreak will impact the global solar supply chain, energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie said this week, as carried by Renews. Factories outside China which use Chinese imports to assemble solar modules will be impacted by the reduced production and exports out of China due to the virus, according to WoodMac’s senior analyst in the energy transition research team, Xiaojing Sun.

“Late module delivery will affect project construction schedules around the world, and projects with Q3 and Q4 2020 placed-in-service dates are likely to be hit particularly hard,” Sun said.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.  More