PV Tech’s COVID-19 tracker: 27 April - 3 May

By PV Tech
Image credit: CDC / Unsplash

This is the latest issue of PV Tech's COVID-19 tracker. See links ahead to browse our archives for all news and developments for January 2020 – 29 March 202030 March 2020- 5 April 2020, 6 April 2020 – 12 April 202013 April 2020 – 19 April 2020 and 20 April 2020 – 26 April 2020.  

Over its first few months of existence, the COVID-19 crisis has already wreaked major havoc across the world, and the solar industry has not been immune.

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From hampered flows of raw materials for manufacturers to financing delays for developers, both upstream and downstream PV players have already felt the weight of the pandemic as it continues its global trek, infecting hundreds of thousands and sparking talk of a worldwide recession.

Only time can confirm what the long-term implications will be from what remains a still-maturing crisis. For now, however, PV Tech will keep an eye on reports on the ground and sound out industry players to share here the latest news and developments as they come, starting with the most recent. 

If you have a COVID-19 statement to share or a story on how the pandemic is disrupting a solar business anywhere in the world, do get in touch at [email protected] or [email protected].

Our sister titles Energy.Storage.News and Solar Power Portal have also launched similar trackers to map out COVID-19 impacts on the energy storage sector and the UK solar industry.  

Renewables become cheapest choice as world eyes COVID-19 recovery

30 April 2020: “Dramatic” recent gains have pushed solar’s levelised cost of electricity below US$30/MWh and will see the industry break the US$20/MWh average in a decade, BloombergNEF (BNEF) has said.

New analysis from the consultancy found that utility-scale solar and onshore wind new-builds have become the cheapest option in countries home to two-thirds of the world’s population, positioning the sectors as a “risk” to existing fossil fuel capacity.

See here to read the PV Tech story in full

South African renewables call for end to construction shutdown

30 April 2020: South African solar representatives have come on board a campaign to ensure the installation of renewable plants can resume in May, coinciding with a relaxation of national lockdown measures.

This week, a letter co-signed by national bodies for PV (SAPVIA), wind (SAWEA), energy storage (SAESA), thermal solar (STASA) and broader renewables (SAREC) called on the government to include green energy construction in the list of sectors allowed back to work starting next month.

See here to read the PV Tech story in full

The 800MW-plus of under-construction solar in South Africa

Solar project name Capacity (MW) Province Town
Bokamoso 67.9 North West Matlosana
Aggeneys Solar Project 40 Northern Cape Aggeneys
Zeerust 75 North West Ramotshere Moiloa
Waterloo Solar Park 75 North West Vryburg
Solar Capital Orange 75 Northern Cape Loeriesfontein
Sirius Solar PV Project One 75 Northern Cape Upington
Konkoonsies II Solar Facility 75 Northern Cape Pofadder
Greefspan PV Power Plant No. 2 Solar Park 55 Northern Cape Douglas
Dyason’s Klip 1 75 Northern Cape Upington
Dyason’s Klip 2 75 Northern Cape Upington
Droogfontein 2 Solar 75 Northern Cape Kimberley
De Wildt 50 North West Brits

Month of solar highs helps UK shatter coal-free record

30 April 2020: The UK has smashed its coal-free generation record in the midst of a national lockdown, coming just under a year since the record was previously set.

The record – which National Grid ESO confirmed was broken at 6:10am on Tuesday 28 April – was made possible by a combination of high levels of solar on the grid and lower than usual demand.

See here to read the story in full on PV Tech's sister title Solar Power Portal

Italian industry braces for construction, factory reopening next week

30 April 2020: Italian staff will be able to resume work at factories and sites across all economic and construction sectors next Monday, trade body ANIE Federazione reports.

Italy – where PV players have urged for government help against the COVID-19 economic shock – will allow activity to restart on 4 May 2020 as long as businesses observe the safety measures set out under a new shared protocol, ANIE Federazione said this week.

See here to read ANIE Federazione’s statement in full and here for PV Tech’s coverage of COVID-19’s impacts so far on Italian solar

COVID-19 hindering solar purchases by wildfire-wary Californians

30 April 2020: Investor-owned utility PG&E has come under criticism by Californian citizens over delays with solar installations for households bracing for the upcoming wildfire season.

Los Angeles Times recently interviewed Californians over the reported difficulties to receive the solar and battery systems they have requested ahead of summer, with installers arguing they are having to navigate “confusing local rules” and the shutdown of permitting offices.

See here to read the Los Angeles Story in full

Iberdrola ramps up investments to stave off pandemic impacts, boost supply chains

30 April 2020: Multinational utility Iberdrola is maintaining its course for green power, ramping up investments in order to stave off the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reporting its Q1 2020 performance this morning, Iberdrola noted that multi-billion-euro investments in sectors including renewables and digital capabilities had allowed it to sidestep any early effects of the virus, helping deliver a 5.3% increase in net profit to €968 million.

See here to read the PV Tech story in full

“There is complete consensus that the road to economic recovery must be green, with the fight against climate change at its core. The European Green Deal and the National Energy and Climate Plans across the EU already provide a clear pathway. Iberdrola is fully prepared to help deliver these targets”—Ignacio Galán, chair of Iberdrola

Ugandan prime minister hails solar systems for healthcare centres

30 April 2020: Ugandan hospitals battling the COVID-19 pandemic will be provided with SH450 million (US$118,400) worth of solar systems, local outlet New Vision reports.

This week, Ugandan prime minister Ruhakana Rugunda was in attendance as the government took in the joint donations from national conglomerate Dembe Group, corporate Signify and the Danish Refugee Council, with plans to install the solar systems across 20 health centres.

See here to read the New Vision story in full

BIM Group’s solar factories make donations to COVID-19 response

30 April 2020: Vietnamese conglomerate BIM Group has tapped into its solar unit to provide relief to communities in the country, with donations so far including at least 1.2 billion Vietnamese Dong (US$51,100).

See here to read BIM Group’s statement 

Brazilian solar generation soars by 53.3% to 692MW in early April

30 April 2020: Output from solar plants in Brazil witnessed a surge over the first half of Brazil, helping keep the lights on as the country grapples with record number of COVID-19 crisis.

Reported by outlet Último Instante this week, preliminary data from state agency CCEE shows solar generation reached 692MW between 1 and 15 April 2020, a 53.3% jump on the figure reported for the same period last year.

See here for the Último Instante story and here for PV Tech’s coverage of COVID-19’s impacts so far on Brazilian solar

EU energy head: Renewables are Europe’s ‘priority’ amid supply chain gaps

30 April 2020: A European Commission top official used a meeting with ministers this week to highlight the EU’s plans to shelter renewables, amid talk of supply chain “vulnerability”.

On Wednesday, EU Energy commissioner Kadri Simson said the EU executive will work to preserve Europe’s global leadership with green energy, with work underway around stronger supply chains and an upcoming strategy on offshore renewables.

“The crisis has given us a snap-shot of the future: in many countries, the penetration of renewables has significantly increased and this will become more and more common,” Simson said. “We must use this moment as an opportunity to accelerate the progress towards our climate neutrality goal.”

See here to read the European Commission’s full statement and here for PV Tech’s earlier coverage of solar’s role in the European Green Deal.

Oil and gas major Galp persists with solar push despite €500m-plus cuts

29 April 2020: Oil and gas firm Galp will not call off a two-billion-euro solar programme despite major spending cuts, becoming the latest fossil fuel player to stick to green energy plans even as COVID-19 forces to slash budgets.

On Monday, the group said it will go ahead with the 2.9GW Spanish solar deal it had announced in January despite moving this week to slash investment and spending over the next 12 months, with over €500 million (US$543 million) in annual cuts planned all in all.

See here to read the PV Tech story in full and here for PV Tech's earlier coverage of the 2.9GW solar deal

Enel joins Spanish solar comeback as new 50MW project breaks ground

29 April 2020: Spain’s lifting of a 10-day stay-at-home obligation for construction staff earlier this month has brought another solar player to the fields, with a plant now underway in the country’s south.

On Monday, Enel Green Power España (EGPE) said it had recently broken ground on a 50MW solar project in the Andalusian province of Seville, the second of a 100MW complex it is looking to deploy near the town of Carmona.

See here to read the PV Tech story in full

SEIA survey opens window into stories of heavy-hit US solar firms

29 April 2020: The economic and social implications of the COVID-19 emergency on the US solar industry were laid bare once more by the responses to a survey by national PV body the SEIA.

On Tuesday, the association urged again for action against US solar job losses after sharing the latest stories that have come forward, including a New Jersey installer who reported having had to fire 250 workers or a Wisconsin peer warning layoffs may become necessary in Q3 if help doesn’t come.

See here to read SEIA’s statement in full and here for PV Tech’s coverage of latest US solar news and developments

‘A very appropriate solution’: Sonnedix on energy hedging in uncertain era

29 April 2020: Joining the European Energy Exchange (EEX) will help curb counterparty risks as lockdowns worldwide send power prices plummeting, Sonnedix has told PV Tech.

The firm recently walked this publication through the rationale behind its decision to become the first solar independent power producer (IPP) on the Leipzig-based venue, which various players use to trade power derivatives, mineral and agricultural commodities and others.

See here to read the PV Tech story in full

“With the current global situation, executing long-term hedges with reduced counterparty risks is a very appropriate solution”—Sonnedix spokesperson.

California regulator confirms essential status of solar and storage workers

29 April 2020: The essential status of solar and storage installers during the COVID-19 lockdown has been clarified by an update of the California Energy Commission’s list, US outlets have reported.

The reported confirmation comes one month after the US state’s own green energy representatives reached the same conclusion after examining the relevant rules.

See here to browse the California Energy Commission’s list

Boston-based solar operator Nexamp assists with PPE, food bank relief

29 April 2020: Green energy firm Nexamp is to donate financial aid to food banks in the US states where it operates and help source personal protective equipment (PPE) for local health centres.

In a release this week, the Boston-based group said the aid will go towards a dozen food banks in nine states including California, Massachusetts and New York. Together with the PPE relief, both areas count with the US$225,000 raised so far, with Nexamp matching employee donations.

See here to read Nexamp’s statement

PowerChina’s return to work paves way for delivery of Argentinian solar giant

29 April 2020: Argentina’s largest solar project could be linked to the grid within a month and a half as Beijing-headquartered builder PowerChina resumes work, Energía Estratégica reports.

Interviewed by the news outlet, the Chinese firm said it has stocked up protective masks as staff begin a slow return to work. Cauchari I, II and III – a 300MW PV complex in the Jujuy province – may be “one of the first” to be completed, PowerChina explained.

See here to read the Energía Estratégica story and here for PV Tech's prior coverage on the Cauchari project

LONGi’s first intercontinental rail shipment leaves for 20-day trek to Europe

29 April 2020: A train carrying modules of solar maker LONGi started this week a 20-day intercontinental rail journey between China and Europe, the first such delivery for the firm.

The 11MW shipment of Hi-MO4 modules left LONGi’s headquarter city of Xi’an and is now heading to a warehouse in the Dutch city of Rotterdam, from which it will be delivered to distributed solar customers in Europe.

See here to read LONGi’s statement in full and here for PV Tech’s most recent coverage of the company’s performance.

Xu Zhipeng, Senior Manager of LONGi’s Logistics Department, said this is the “first Sino-European freight train” ever to be dispatched by LONGi. Image credit: LONGi

Scientists: Disruption is Australia’s ‘opportunity' to fast-track green energy

29 April 2020: Australia must ensure renewables remain “front and centre” and do not lose the momentum gained from crises including droughts and wildfire blazes, scientists have said.

In remarks reported by the BBC, Prof Mark Howden of the Climate Change Institute at the Australian National University said: “When you have significant disruption like this, it does give you an opportunity to move forward on a different trajectory from the one you're on previously.”

See here to read the BBC story in full and here for PV Tech’s coverage of COVID-19’s impacts so far on Australian solar.

RWE sets aside US$250,000 for 45-plus US organisations battling COVID-19

29 April 2020: The Renewables division of German group RWE has committed donations of US$250,000 to over 45 organisations fighting COVID-19 in the US states where it operates.

The pandemic finds RWE in a year where it announced commitments to invest €5 billion to add 4GW of solar and wind to its portfolio by 2022. As documented by PV Tech, this will build on the capacity it already absorbed from E.ON via a complex asset swap that closed last year.

See here to read RWE’s statement and here for PV Tech’s recent coverage of the company’s solar plans in 2020 and beyond.

Kabul food carts become solar-powered sanitising stations – Reuters

29 April 2020: Food stalls in Afghanistan are being converted to COVID-19 disinfection vehicles with the help of solar, Reuters reports.

In a recent article, the outlet interviewed social enterprise Banu’s Kitchen, who has acted to transform food carts in capital Kabul into carbon-neutral, solar-powered mobile sanitising stations. Staffed by women, the carts now offer free soap and water to food shoppers.

See here to read the Reuters story in full

New Jersey grants time reprieve for solar players applying for certificates

29 April 2020: Solar firms requesting Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) in the US state of New Jersey will be offered more time to comply with deadlines, NJ Spotlight reports.

According to the outlet, the state’s Board of Public Utilities has moved to postpone a deadline that would have forced PV projects to document they qualified for SRECs by 30 April. How long a delay green energy firms will be offered remains unclear at this point, NJ Spotlight said.

See here to read the NJ Spotlight story in full

Solar Media events go digital to keep industry debate alive in uncertain times

Solar Media’s new Digital Summits series has been launched to provide critical market insights, intelligence and networking opportunities to maintain our industries’ momentum. Running throughout May and June, the Digital Summits will deliver the full live event experience to your own home.

1. Energy Storage Digital Series: 11-15 May. See here for more information on how to take part.

2. Large Scale Solar Digital Series: 18-22 May. See here for more information on how to take part.

3. Solar & Storage Finance Digital Series: 1-5 June. See here for more information on how to take part.

4. EnTech Digital Series: 15-19 June. See here for more information on how to take part.

5. Everything EV Digital Series: 6-10 July. See here for more information on how to take part.

Sunrun taps tech sector exec to steer finances in year of headwinds

28 April 2020: An executive with past roles in leading Silicon Valley firms will be overseeing finances at Sunrun, the largest US PV residential operator grappling with the economic impacts from the COVID-19 outbreak.

In recent days, Sunrun announced the hire of Tom vonReichbauer as CFO, following the voluntary stepdown by incumbent Bob Komin. The handover will be effective on 11 May 2020, according to a statement from the US residential player.

See here to read the PV Tech story in full and here for PV Tech's coverage of Sunrun's COVID-19 response so far

US, China absent from IEA-led ministerial talk on green COVID-19 recovery

28 April 2020: The world’s top two economies were missing from a ministerial debate arranged by the IEA among countries supporting a renewables-powered COVID-19 comeback.

Top officials from Denmark, France, India, the UK, Sweden, Canada, Italy and others joined representatives from the UN, IEA and IRENA at a roundtable last week, meant to discuss how best to make green energy a pillar of post-pandemic recovery plans.

See here to read the IEA’s press release

Building solar under quarantine: Ibox Energy on 50MW launch in Spain

28 April 2020: Safety measures and PV-keen financiers have allowed a subsidy-free solar venture to break ground in the midst of Spain’s national quarantine, with plans for completion before year-end.

In recent days, partnership Ibox Energy announced that the deployment of a 50MW PV project in Southern Spain launched in the days after Monday 13 April, following the lifting of a 10-day construction freeze enacted to limit the spread of COVID-19 across non-essential sectors.

Contacted by PV Tech, a spokesperson from Ibox Energy – a partnership between developers Ibexia Development and Cox Energy – recounted the story of the preparations for the 100GWh-a-year subsidy-free site in Posadas, to the west of the Andalusian city of Córdoba.

See here to read the PV Tech story in full

“The reactivation of China’s economy is allowing us to maintain the already committed shipment deadlines … We will fulfill our commitments. The plant will be operational by the year’s last quarter, [after] around six months”—Ibox Energy spokesperson.

Tennessee Valley Authority extends RfP deadline for 200MW renewable contract

28 April 2020: Firms looking to take part in the latest renewable request for proposals (RfP) of the Tennessee Valley Authority will have an additional month to table their bids.

In recent days, the Authority took to social media to announce the 200MW large-scale renewables process it had launched in March 2020 will accept RfP bids until 15 May 2020, later than the initial deadline of 24 April 2020 it had set last month.

See here to read TVA’s statement and here for PV Tech’s coverage of the 200MW RfP

Dutch subsidy-backed renewable projects granted one-year extension

28 April 2020: Dutch subsidy-backed green energy projects contracted to reach commissioning this year will be given one more year to do so, the government has announced.

The deadline reprieve – in line with similar decisions seen in France, Germany and others – comes after Dutch renewables players were warned they would not receive state support for extended periods of negative power prices.

See here to read the Dutch government’s statement

Merkel: EU recovery fund must be linked to climate, digitalisation – reports

28 April 2020: German chancellor Angela Merkel recently called for an explicit linking of an under-creation EU pandemic relief fund and challenges including climate change and digitalisation.

In statements reported by Recharge, Merkel – who is facing calls to lift a solar subsidy cap by an industry that must grow from 50GW to 98GW this decade – said the EU’s upcoming fund cannot revolve around “carrying on as we did before the pandemic”.

See here for Recharge’s article and here for PV Tech’s coverage of COVID-19’s impacts on German solar so far

‘Difficult decision’: Vattenfall Solar Team pulls out from car race

28 April 2020: A team of university students sponsored by Vattenfall to design a solar car for a US race in July are withdrawing from the contest, amid doubts around whether the event will go ahead.

The Vattenfall Solar Team took the decision after battling a number of pandemic-related challenges, such as transporting team members and the car itself to the US. The experience has proven the team can “deal with setbacks”, said team leader Niek Hogenboom.

See here to read Vattenfall's statement in full

Sunrun policy chief: ITC extension a ‘no brainer’

28 April 2020: Sunrun’s chief policy officer Anne Hoskins was recently interviewed by Forbes over solar’s current need for an extension of investment tax credits, challenges around soft costs and the advantages that would come if clean energy and utility interests aligned.

“The [ITC] has fueled solar leasing, and has also resulted in large job creation,” Hoskins told Forbes  “Here is a policy that we know how to use, that will put capital in the hands of companies that know how to use it, while putting people to work and bringing a valuable product to the public.”

See here to read the Forbes interview in full

COVID-19 brings delays to 300MW solar project in Wisconsin

28 April 2020: A large solar project in the state of Wisconsin is feeling the impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wisconsin State Journal reports.

In a recent article, the Journal said the 300MW Badger Hollow in Iowa County – the joint work of Madison Gas and Electric (MGE), We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) – is facing delays as a result of the virus outbreak.

See here to read the Wisconsin State Journal story in full and here for PV Tech's earlier coverage of the project

Australian rooftop solar market ‘healthy’ despite lockdown impacts

28 April 2020: The Australian rooftop solar segment remained healthy in Q1 2020 despite the onset of COVID-19 quarantine measures, according to the Australian Energy Council.

In a new update, the Council found the market did grow in the year’s first quarter – with 408MW of new installs across 56,000-plus systems – but saw an “evident” year-on-year slowdown from around 20 March 2020 onwards, following Australia’s roll-out of lockdown measures.

See here to read the Australian Energy Council story in full

Global solar survey lays out path to post-pandemic recovery

28 April 2020: Financial aid and the slimming of planning bureaucracy have emerged as the unsurprising top asks of solar firms filling in a global survey meant to chart COVID-19’s main impacts so far.

A poll launched by the Global Solar Council earlier in April found most respondents have been affected by the outbreak at varying degrees. Nearly 75%, for instance, said they had seen “difficulties” to supply goods or services compared to the status quo before the pandemic.

Of all 326 firms taking part (see table below), nearly half (48%) believe solar tax relief would be the most effective method of support at this point, followed by other forms of dedicated state financing (42%), tax credits (38%) and non-refundable loans or aid (37%).

See here to read the PV Tech story in full

The 326 respondents of GSC’s COVID-19 survey

Solar segment Geographic area
PV plant designers 6.7% EMEA
PV distributors 4.3% APAC
Energy trading and/or sales 4.6% Americas
EPC – General contractor – O&M 13.3%
PV plant installers 16.1%
PV manufacturers 7.9%
Plant developers 13.4%
PV consultants 8.2%
Other 25.5%
Source: Global Solar Council

Energy major-backed scheme for entech, green start-ups nears 400 submissions

28 April 2020: In the space of two weeks, hundreds of applicants have reached out to a Spanish anti-pandemic green innovation programme backed by energy sector a-listers.

Supported by Acciona, Iberdrola, BP and others, the so-called Positive Energy+ initiative has received nearly 400 submissions from projects looking to curb COVID-19’s financial impacts through decarbonisation ventures, according to a recent update.

See here to read Iberdrola’s latest statement on Positive Energy+

WoodMac: 150GW of APAC renewables at risk if crisis wears on

27 April 2020: A protracted COVID-19 recession could trigger delays or cancellations for up to 150GW of solar, wind and other renewables in Asia-Pacific, according to Wood Mackenzie.

In a new release, the consultancy said long-term impacts on the region’s green energy players will be determined by how various dynamics – power demand growth, credit terms, cost trends, government support – evolve over the next few “crucial” months.

See here to read Wood Mackenzie’s statement in full

COVID-19 no match for LONGi quarterly growth after 2019 of records

27 April 2020: Leading monocrystalline wafer producer and member LONGi Green Energy Technology (LONGi Group) set new records for revenue, profitability and product shipments in 2019.

In a recent update, the ‘Solar Module Super League’ (SMSL) member said it had seen continued growth throughout the challenging first quarter of 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

See here to read the PV Tech story in full

LONGi reported full year 2019 operating income (revenue) of RMB 32.897 billion (US$4.64 billion), an increase of approximately 49% from 2018, and a new company record. Image credit: Solar Media

TRIG warns of ‘material impact’ of COVID-19 as power price forecast slides

27 April 2020: European renewables investor The Renewable Investment Group (TRIG) has warned of a “material impact” from COVID-19 on its power price forecasts, contributing towards a cut to the group’s net asset value (NAV).

In an update issued to the market last week, TRIG confirmed that wholesale power price forecasts for jurisdictions in which it owns renewables assets had tumbled by an average of 17% for the forthcoming five years.

See here to read the PV Tech story in full

'6 Months on Us': SunPower offers customers half-year rebate

27 April 2020: US residential installer SunPower will offset down and monthly payments for some customers over a half year, under a new scheme covered by the so-called VISA Reward Card Rebate.

Norm Taffe, the firm’s executive VP for North America Channels, said: “Americans are facing a challenging environment right now and we want to make it easier for them to go solar, lowering their electric bills as soon as possible.”

The firm’s six-month reprieve goes along roughly similar lines to that by African player Redavia, which moved in early April to offer Ghanaian and Kenyan companies free-of-charge solar rentals for six months to protect supply during the COVID-19 crisis.

See here to read SunPower’s full statement and here for PV Tech’s coverage of SunPower’s COVID-19 response so far

Spanish power-related emissions sink to 13-year lows in month of PV growth

27 April 2020: COVID-19 lockdown measures and renewables-friendly weather conditions helped Spain take power-related CO2 emissions last month to lows not seen since 2007, official stats show.

In a new update, Spanish grid operator REE said March 2020 – a month of record solar generation in Spain, as documented by PV Tech – saw the country’s power sector generate 2,395,406 tCO2 of the greenhouse gas, a “new milestone” for its energy transition.

See here to read REE’s new March 2020 figures and here for PV Tech’s broader coverage of Spanish solar news in the COVID-19 era.

‘Despite COVID-19’: France enshrines long-term renewable targets

27 April 2020: France has confirmed its green energy targets for the decade and broader climate plans, restating its will to maintain its “green ambitions” despite the COVID-19 crisis.

Installed solar capacity in the country will have to grow from a cumulative 9.43GW (February 2020) to 20.1GW by 2023 and 35.1-44GW in 2028, according to the goals set out under the multi-annual energy timetables released by the government this week.

See here to browse France’s new renewable target timetables and here for PV Tech’s coverage of COVID-19’s impacts so far on French solar

France’s newly-revised renewable targets

Technology Installed capacity target for 2023 (in GW) Installed capacity target for 2028 (in GW)
Hydro power 25.7 26.4 – 26.7
Onshore wind power 24.1 33.2 – 34.7
Offshore wind power 2.4 5.2 – 6.2
Solar PV 20.1 35.1 – 44.0
Solid biomass 0.8 0.8
Biogas – Anaerobic digestion 0.27 0.34 – 0.41
Geothermal power 0.024 0.024
Total 73.5 101 to 113
Source: French Environment Ministry

Oil major Repsol uses Spain’s lockdown rollback to start building solar debut

27 April 2020: Repsol has launched construction works in Spain for its first ever solar farm in the midst of a national quarantine, following the country’s lifting of a pandemic-driven construction freeze.

Last week, the oil major announced it has now broken ground on a 126MW solar trio in the province of Ciudad Real, in the Castilla-La Mancha region to the south of capital Madrid.

The so-called Kappa venture in Manzanares is Repsol’s maiden solar project and will require overall funding of around €100 million (US$108 million). The complex, set to become operational in early 2021, will be split into individual plants of 45MW, 45MW and 36MW.

See here to read the PV Tech story in full

A ‘confident’ PV industry: RINA on renewables’ post-pandemic future

27 April 2020: With COVID-19 continuing to disrupt solar players around the world, PV Tech caught up with Simon Brown, Director of Power at international solar consultancy RINA, to discuss how the pandemic is affecting PV development.

See here to read the PV Tech story in full

Solar shines brightest in Chile’s month of solid renewable generation

27 April 2020: One of Latin America’s leading solar markets saw the industry top renewable energy generation charts in March 2020, coinciding with the country’s adoption of lockdown measures.

In findings reported by Revista Electricidad, national regulator CNE recently revealed that green energy supplied 1.3TWh of power to the country last month, or a 19.2% share of all generation. At 657GWh, PV generation outstripped wind (393GWh), biomass (113GWH and others).

See here to read Revista Electricidad’s story and here for PV Tech’s coverage of COVID-era solar generation records worldwide.

PV Tech’s resource library

PV Tech has a wealth of in-depth articles and resources to keep you engaged in the solar sector throughout any period of isolation. Every volume of PV Tech Power, our downstream solar PV-focused journal, can be downloaded entirely for free here. We also have a collection of webinars conducted over the last four years which can be viewed on demand here, and an exhaustive list of technical papers from both our own in-house editorial team and esteemed industry professionals, which can be accessed here.

Greece adopts deadline reprieves as MPs vote on faster green energy licensing

27 April 2020: Green renewables projects are to be offered an extension of licensing and other deadlines to help with COVID-19 impacts, under a reprieve already approved by the government.

Last Friday, Greek MPs voted through various measures meant to “modernise” environmental legislation, including a certificate proposed in early March to shorten lengthy licensing windows for green energy projects. Under the previous system, PV applicants can wait for 3-4 years.

See here to read the Greek Environment ministry’s statement and here for PV Tech’s coverage of the latest news and developments in Greek solar

ReneSola cuts Q1 2020 growth forecasts but retains long-term aspirations

27 April 2020: Small-scale solar specialist ReneSola Power has slashed its Q1 2020 performance forecasts due to the COVID-19 crisis, but maintained that its full-year growth will not take a hit.

The firm said last week it now expects revenues in the region of US$18-20 million and a 6-7% gross margin in Q1 2020, both a drop on the US$30-33 million and 8-10% figures it had guided last month.

See the links ahead for PV Tech’s coverage of ReneSola’s initial 2020 plans and its revised guidance after the COVID-19 outbreak.

EU campaigners ramp up calls for ‘biggest green programme the world has ever seen’

27 April 2020: A coalition of green NGOs have staged a campaign to urge European authorities to legislate for the “biggest green investment programme the world has ever seen.”

In a push that mirrors those by global agency IRENA and the EU’s own heads of state, Greenpeace, WWF and others recently started gathering signatures for a petition calling on the EU to ensure economic recovery does not come “at the expense of a healthy environment”.

See here to learn more about the new campaign by EU green NGOs

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