China expected to install 33.4gw solar in 2020

2020-07-27

For the year 2020, data and analytics firm GlobalData has lowered its forecast for solar PV installations in China from 40 GW expected earlier (before the pandemic) to now about 33.4 GW, due to the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact. The world’s largest solar market finished 2019 at 30.1 GW

Explaining its position for this 6.6 GW drop in expected installations for the year, GlobalData points out that the pandemic forced several industrial areas of Jiangsu, Guangdong, Anhui, and Zhejiang provinces in China to halt operations for some time. This disruption in the solar manufacturing segment has been compounded by shutdowns and quarantine restrictions, slowing down the production rates of components. GlobalData sees this creating a domino effect across the global solar market.

These factors, it argues, are expected to lead to a shortage of modules which would further push the project completion deadlines especially for those that are eligible to receive state subsidies.

Even though the state may grant extensions, GlobalData fears some project developers may abandon their projects altogether.

“Within China, the capacity additions are likely to be stemmed and many projects are expected to face uncertain delays, due to the unprecedented circumstances. The global demand for solar equipment is expected to decline, because of the economic slowdown and the lack of capital to undertake new project development,” said GlobalData’s Senior Power Analyst Somik Das. “However, as soon as the Chinese economy shows nascent and early signs of recovery from the effects of the pandemic, it can be expected that the government would strive to get the industry back in shape.”

Different views on 2020 solar demand in China

In an early April 2020 webinar organized by TaiyangNews, panelists agreed that the COVID-19 impact on China will indeed negatively influence the global solar PV sector, however, representatives from LONGi solar and Ginlong Solis were optimistic of the country reporting around 40 GW of annual additions during this year. BloombergNEF was, however, conservative in its forecast expecting between 26.2 GW to 36.7 GW of capacity for the country

A month back, IHS Markit dramatically slashed its 2020 PV forecast to 105 GW from 142 GW but, unlike GlobalData, it upped its outlook for China to 45 GW of newly installed capacity.

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