BloombergNEF (BNEF) has reduced its global solar demand forecast for 2020, due to the impact related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreaks.
BNEF lowered its forecast range from 121GW-152GW to 108GW-143GW. With the low end of the revised range, BNEF is highlighting the possibility that COVID-19 could have such an impact on demand that 2020 could mark the first time in several decades when annual demand falls below that of the previous year.
BNEF noted that Chinese factories were at various stages of restarting and ramping capacity, a move set to ease pressure on the supply of key components and equipment.
However, action to contain COVID-19 in China had underscored the need for diversified supply chains and strengthened the case for localised manufacturing in Asia, Europe and the US, especially for batteries, according to BNEF.
Unrelated to COVID-19, BNEF also noted that new PV support mechanisms recently announced in China could push some 2020 PV demand in to 2021.
There had been expectations that downstream demand in China could reach around 50GW in 2020, yet a final list of PV power plant projects open to bidding has been delayed to July.
Recently, China Photovoltaic Industry Association (CPIA) lowered its China demand forecast to a range of 35GW to 45GW, due to policy changes and delays.