Solar PV has potential to drive EU economy while competitive tariffs help sector grow in coming years

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The solar PV sector in Europe is anticipated to have a positive outlook post-COVID-19. Although distributed solar installations declined due to reduced manpower and supply chain delays, substantial impact on the sector resulting from cancellations is less likely. However, delays and postponements in utility-scale projects may well roll the commercialization of the impacted projects to 2021, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Somik Das, Senior Power Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “With the onset of COVID-19, the 2020 annual global solar PV installation is predicted to be between 90GW and 110GW, which otherwise could’ve been 20-30% higher. Depending on the situation that exists in the last half of the year, the EU solar PV Market might cross 10GW of annual installation this year.”

At most, the crisis might delay the expansion of the European solar PV sector but not cause any irreparable damage. Electrification of transport and heating, global warming and climate change policies, renewable energy policies and increasingly competitive PV electricity generation are the key drivers of this sector. Clean hydrogen production and the electrification of industrial and commercial processes are expected to accelerate the transition to renewables in the future. In the near future, solar PV can make a positive contribution to the economy. It can create employment and relaunch the economy, strengthening and expanding the manufacturing of solar components in all segments of the value chain.

Das added: “The European solar PV sector has performed even with the onset of the pandemic. Spain had a total 9.8GW of solar PV installed as of 2019, with another 1.6GW expected to come this year. Meanwhile, Germany and the Netherlands are expected to be among the top three nations having the highest annual installation this year.

“Last year, auctions in Portugal had seen the lowest tariff recorded ever. This year, auctions in Germany and Hungary had an average of around US$0.06-0.08/kWh. Tariffs were competitive in the European solar PV market, and, going ahead, it is expected to lead to competitive installations in the coming years, which, in turn, would allow the European solar PV market to grow significantly.”

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