Energy Data Downloads : In May 2020, the IEA market update on renewable energy Data provided an analysis that looked at the impact of Covid-19 on renewable energy deployment in 2020 and 2021. This early assessment showed that the Covid-19 crisis is hurting – but not halting – global renewable energy growth. Half a year later, the pandemic continues to affect the global economy and daily life. However, renewable markets, especially electricity-generating technologies, have already shown their resilience to the crisis. Renewables 2020 provides detailed analysis and forecasts through 2025 of the impact of Covid-19 on renewables in the electricity heat and transport sectors.
In sharp contrast to all other fuels, renewables used for generating electricity will grow by almost 7% in 2020. Global energy demand is set to decline 5% – but long-term contracts, priority access to the grid and continuous installation of new plants are all underpinning strong growth in renewable electricity. This more than compensates for declines in bioenergy for industry and biofuels for transport – mostly the result of lower economic activity. The net result is an overall increase of 1% in renewable energy demand in 2020.
Despite looming economic uncertainties, investor appetite for renewables remains strong. From January to October 2020, auctioned renewable capacity was 15% higher than for the same period last year, a new record. At the same time, the shares of publicly listed renewable equipment manufacturers and project developers have been outperforming most major stock market indices and the overall energy sector. This is thanks to expectations of healthy business growth and finances over the medium term. In October 2020, shares of solar companies worldwide had more than doubled in value from December 2019.
Renewable power additions defy Covid to set new record
Driven by China and the United States, net installed renewable capacity will grow by nearly 4% globally in 2020, reaching almost 200 GW. Higher additions of wind and hydropower are taking global renewable capacity additions to a new record this year, accounting for almost 90% of the increase in total power capacity worldwide. Solar PV growth is expected to remain stable as a faster expansion of utility-scale projects compensates for the decline in rooftop additions resulting from individuals and companies reprioritising investments. Wind and solar PV additions are set to jump by 30% in both the People’s Republic of China (“China”) and the United States as developers rush to complete projects before changes in policy take effect.
The renewables industry has adapted quickly to the challenges of the Covid crisis. We have revised the IEA forecast for global renewable capacity additions in 2020 upwards by 18% from our previous update in May. Supply chain disruptions and construction delays slowed the progress of renewable energy data projects in the first six months of 2020. However, construction of plants and manufacturing activity ramped up again quickly, and logistical challenges have been mostly resolved with the easing of cross-border restrictions since mid-May. Our new database for monthly capacity additions shows that they have exceeded previous expectations through September, pointing to a faster recovery in Europe, the United States and China.
Europe and India will lead a renewables surge in 2021
Renewable capacity additions are on track for a record expansion of nearly 10% in 2021. Two factors should drive the acceleration, leading to the fastest growth since 2015. First, the commissioning of delayed projects in markets where construction and supply chains were disrupted. Prompt government measures in key markets – the United States, India and some European countries – have authorised developers to complete projects several months after policy or auction deadlines that originally fell at the end of 2020. Second, growth is set to continue in 2021 in some markets – such as the United States, the Middle East and Latin America – where the pre-Covid project pipeline was robust thanks to continued cost declines and uninterrupted policy support.
India is expected to be the largest contributor to the renewables upswing in 2021, with the country’s annual additions almost doubling from 2020. A large number of auctioned wind and solar PV projects are expected to become operational following delays due not only to Covid-19 but also to contract negotiations and land acquisition challenges.
In the European Union, capacity additions are forecast to jump in 2021. This is mainly the result of previously auctioned utility-scale solar PV and wind projects in France and Germany coming online. Growth is supported by member states’ policies to meet the bloc’s 2030 renewable energy target and by the EU recovery fund providing low-cost financing and grants. In the Middle East and North Africa region and Latin America, renewable energy data additions recover in 2021, led by the commissioning of projects awarded previously in competitive auctions.
Increasing policy certainty in key markets could significantly boost renewables deployment
Renewables are resilient to the Covid-19 crisis but not to policy uncertainties. The expiry of incentives in key markets and the resulting policy uncertainties lead to a small decline in renewables capacity additions in 2022 in our main forecast. In China, onshore wind and solar PV subsidies expire this year, while offshore wind support ends in 2021. The policy framework for 2021-25 will be announced at the end of next year, leaving uncertainty over the pace of renewables expansion in China in 2022 and beyond. Renewable additions are also set to be held back in 2022 by the expiry of production tax credits for onshore wind in the United States, the ongoing financial struggles of distribution companies in India, and delayed auctions in Latin America. In particular, onshore wind additions are expected to decline by 15% globally, while offshore wind expansion continues to accelerate around the world.
If countries address policy uncertainties, as in our Accelerated Case, global solar PV and wind additions could each increase by a further 25% in 2022. This would push renewable capacity additions to a record 271 GW. China alone would account for 30% of the increase. The solar PV annual market could reach about 150 GW – an increase of almost 40% in just three years. In the United States, if additional policies for clean electricity are implemented, solar PV and wind may see much more rapid deployment, contributing to a faster decarburization of the US power sector.
Source By IEA
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