Solar worst-performing renewable as downtime days nearly double due to supply chain problems

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Reddit
Email
Solar PV has seen the highest increase in average downtime days of any renewables. Image: ACWA Power via Twitter

Supply chain woes, spiralling energy prices and the COVID-19 pandemic have reversed the downward trend in average business interruption (BI) claims for renewables developers, with solar nearly doubling its average downtime days, while the renewable sector-wide average rises by 38% on 2016 levels.  

That is among the findings of energy insurer group GCube’s latest market insights report, Supply Another Day: Gauging the insurance impacts of renewable energy’s supply chain challenge, that also showed there was a 10% increase in downtime this year compared with 2019 levels.

This article requires Premium SubscriptionBasic (FREE) Subscription

Unlock unlimited access for 12 whole months of distinctive global analysis

Photovoltaics International is now included.

  • Regular insight and analysis of the industry’s biggest developments
  • In-depth interviews with the industry’s leading figures
  • Unlimited digital access to the PV Tech Power journal catalogue
  • Unlimited digital access to the Photovoltaics International journal catalogue
  • Access to more than 1,000 technical papers
  • Discounts on Solar Media’s portfolio of events, in-person and virtual

Or continue reading this article for free

The report explores the impacts of global supply chain disruption and rising inflation on renewable energy developers, manufacturers and insurers amid “a climate of unprecedented demand for clean energy”.

Unfortunately, solar has fared particularly badly, with a 95% increase in average downtime days, much more than the renewable average. An unevenly distributed supply chain concentrated in China and Southeast Asia has been rocked by recurring lockdowns and underscores the importance of supply chain diversification, the report said.

GCube said the lack of funded development leaves the supply chain unable to scale up its resources and its personnel to accommodate the growing demands of the sector.

“This is a particular challenge for contractors, who face pressures to stretch resources and drive down their rates to capture emerging opportunities,” said GCube as it predicted an increase in contractor quality claims over the coming months as original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) “struggle to accommodate the strain on their resources and rates.”

The insurer said the situation had “exposed the weaknesses of the solar industry’s total reliance on Southeast Asia and sends a clear message on the importance of diverse supply opportunities.”

“Without an industry-wide effort to diversify the solar supply chain, procurement delays and cost inflation are set to increase,” it continued.

The report described how “public and private sector investment has struggled to support growth within supply chains”, which it said holds back both the creation of new infrastructure and the development of key skills and expertise.  

It recommends, “cooperation, precise evaluation of insured values and targeted investment in skills and supply chain diversification, in the bid to improve resilience for the global renewable sector.”

“Ensuring that Total Insured Values are reported as accurately as possible is critical to enabling appropriate cover for components and downtime, and protecting revenue streams – while a realistic approach to competitive contractor rates can offer both security for themselves and flexibility for the contractor in buffering against quality failure,” said Fraser McLachlan, GCube’s CEO, adding that he expects disruption to become more concentrated in a few key areas.

27 June 2024
9am BST
FREE WEBINAR -This special webinar will take a deep dive into the latest PV ModuleTech Bankability Ratings pyramid, capturing the relative bankability status of the top 70-80 PV module suppliers globally. In addition to revealing the latest ranking of global PV module suppliers, PV Tech’s Head of Research, Finlay Colville, will show the depth of analysis and commentary included within the report for module suppliers. A key output from the webinar will be to learn which PV module suppliers have moved up the rankings pyramid in recent years and why this growth has been achieved. Conversely, some of the companies that have fallen down the rankings will be discussed, in particular those suffering from market-share losses and financial problems.
8 October 2024
San Francisco Bay Area, USA
PV Tech has been running an annual PV CellTech Conference since 2016. PV CellTech USA, on 8-9 October 2024 is our second PV CellTech conference dedicated to the U.S. manufacturing sector. The event in 2023 was a sell out success and 2024 will once again gather the key stakeholders from PV manufacturing, equipment/materials, policy-making and strategy, capital equipment investment and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out PV manufacturing in the U.S. out to 2030 and beyond.
26 November 2024
Málaga, Spain
Understanding PV module supply to the European market in 2025. PV ModuleTech Europe 2024 is a two-day conference that tackles these challenges directly, with an agenda that addresses all aspects of module supplier selection; product availability, technology offerings, traceability of supply-chain, factory auditing, module testing and reliability, and company bankability.
11 March 2025
Frankfurt, Germany
The conference will gather the key stakeholders from PV manufacturing, equipment/materials, policy-making and strategy, capital equipment investment and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out PV manufacturing out to 2030 and beyond.
17 June 2025
Napa, USA
PV Tech has been running PV ModuleTech Conferences since 2017. PV ModuleTech USA, on 17-18 June 2025, will be our fourth PV ModulelTech conference dedicated to the U.S. utility scale solar sector. The event will gather the key stakeholders from solar developers, solar asset owners and investors, PV manufacturing, policy-making and and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out the PV module supply channels to the U.S. out to 2026 and beyond.

Read Next

June 17, 2024
German quality assurance and testing centre TÜV Rheinlandwill present a traceability testing service for modules at Intersolar Europe 2024.
June 17, 2024
The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) has taken control of a 500kV, 125-mile transmission line between California and Arizona.
June 17, 2024
The UK and the Ireland I-SEM are also top markets for renewables and battery energy storage systems (BESS) co-location in Europe.
June 17, 2024
Yindjibarndi Energy Corporation’s 150MW solar farm is the first project approved via Western Australia’s ‘Green Energy Approvals Initiative’.
June 17, 2024
Solar engineering software company PVCase has launched a project planning platform designed to cover the entire construction and planning process for PV projects.
June 17, 2024
Enel Green Power Australia confirmed its AU$190 million solar-plus-storage project in NSW, Australia, will commence construction in Q3 2024.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
July 2, 2024
Athens, Greece
Solar Media Events
July 9, 2024
Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Singapore
Solar Media Events
September 24, 2024
Warsaw, Poland
Solar Media Events
September 24, 2024
Singapore, Asia