Renewable energy among the most pandemic-resilient infrastructure sub-sectors

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email
Foresight’s 10MW Escallonilla Norte y Sur solar farm in Spain. Image: Foresight Group.

The renewables sector has been named among the most pandemic-resilient infrastructure sub-sectors, thanks in part to its ability to secure finance as well as government efforts to grow the green economy, according to a new white paper from investment firm Foresight Group.

The analysis, which examined 23 sub-sectors, showed that while infrastructure as an asset class has proved to be highly pandemic resilient, there are substantial differences in the performance of various industries.

While global investment in renewables is forecast to decline 10% in 2020 due to COVID-19, the effect on utility-scale solar PV is expected to be much less due to its declining levelised cost of electricity, the report notes. Driven by a range of funding commitments, the UK’s utility-scale PV pipeline saw 2.6GW added in H1 2020, compared with 2.9GW secured in all of 2019.

Meanwhile, with governments under pressure to ensure a green recovery from the pandemic, the renewables sector is also a top performer in terms of political and regulatory resilience. The ‘Next Generation EU’ roadmap presented by the European Union in May singles out solar and wind as one of four strategic pillars of the EU’s post-COVID economy, alongside building renovation, clean transport and others.

The white paper noted that while utility-scale solar has improved its cost resilience during the pandemic, coal-fired power has been hit by high fixed costs as well as low electricity demand, resulting in the UK going two months without coal generation earlier in the year. 

Given that the manifestation of future pandemics will be unpredictable, diversification by investors across a range of infrastructure sub-sectors will be important in helping to mitigate future pandemic risk and limit adverse impacts, the report said. 

London-headquartered Foresight Group manages over 150 solar plants and has more than 1.4GW of solar generation assets around the world. The company last week announced the formation of a joint venture with Elgin Energy to develop a pipeline of solar projects in the UK with a total generating capacity of 200MW.

Speaking of the deal, Foresight director Peter Bolton said: “We see solar PV enjoying a second phase of growth driven by continuing optimisation of assets and the ongoing reduction in the capital costs. The need to meet net zero targets and the potential reintroduction of government support will further encourage the deployment of utility-scale solar.”

Read Next

October 6, 2021
Octopus Hydrogen, the green hydrogen arm of UK utility Octopus Energy, has signed a strategic partnership to roll out green hydrogen projects across the UK.
August 24, 2021
Solar and storage developer Elgin Energy has closed a deal with Berenberg that will see the German bank finance the development of 1.36GWp of its PV portfolio.
PV Tech Premium
July 12, 2021
BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy 2021, published late last week, highlights how the world’s energy systems are changing at rapid pace, but equally illustrates how that pace of change must accelerate across the world if established economies are to meet net zero targets. Liam Stoker looks at the key takeaways from the report.
July 6, 2021
A round-up of the latest solar financing news, featuring Repsol’s move into the US renewables market, Aquila’s latest acquisition in Portugal and VivoPower taking full control of its US PV development portfolio.
June 28, 2021
The UK’s Climate Change Committee (CCC) has called for a “long-term ambition” for solar and other renewables.
June 18, 2021
In order to align with its net zero target, solar capacity in the UK needs to treble to 40GW by 2030, according to a new report from Solar Energy UK this week.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
February 1, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
February 23, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 23, 2022
Austin, Texas, USA
Solar Media Events
March 29, 2022
Lisbon, Portugal