Solar Energy

The project disruption created by COVID-19

“All for one and one for all, united we stand divided we fall.” – Alexandre Dumas, Three Musketeers’

A few weeks of supply delays, combined with construction disruptions, could translate into two to five gigawatts of project development delays in 2020. There are plenty of examples of how industry players are adapting in near real-time to reduce the damage. For solar companies, there has been an emphasis on remote work to address the considerable challenges in permitting, interconnection, sales, and project design that arise when stay-at-home government orders prevent face-to-face meetings.

There’s a massive shift to everything done online, solar companies are making significant investments in digital, and I think the change has accelerated dramatically. For residential solar companies, the push from kitchen-table to digital sales could impact their future beyond the current global pandemic. If this form of electronic commerce works, there is a chance that a few larger residential installation companies will sell via a video conferencing program.
The coronavirus pandemic is also compelling developers large and small to change their approach to financing. For example, the rapid evaporation of commercial paper such as unsecured short-term debt instruments used to fund day-to-day operations has led companies to tap revolving credit facilities to ensure enough liquidity.

The most obvious and clear example of adapting to the coronavirus pandemic can be seen in the solar industry’s lobbying of Congress as it crafts a follow-up stimulus package related to the economic damage caused by the pandemic. Although the democrats attempted to add solar energy to the stimulus, Republicans in the Senate deleted it from the $2.2 trillion stimulus package that passed in late March.

Along with the extension of the federal Investment Tax Credit to accommodate project delays, the ability to use direct payments instead of tax credits can be a reasonable response in the next stimulus package.  Also, , an extension of safe-harboring provisions for qualifying equipment would be an excellent responses from our federal government when controlling the United States’ energy security seems more critical now than ever.

USD is still finding and keeping track of quality modules, inverters, and batteries at the right price for you. We are working daily to find you the product you want at the best price available. When COVID-19 ends, we will make sure to assist you with getting back on track at the fastest pace possible by ensuring you have the equipment you will need. Please contact Karlita or Robert for any equipment you want.

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