Solar Energy

What is the solar industry’s future with product enhancements and dealing with new work requirements?

“If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.”

— Steve Jobs

Did you know that manufacturers are now reoutfitting their lines to accommodate larger cells that would increase module wattage capacities? They had an initial plan to complete the factory line change, but Malaysia, Vietnam, and Cambodia will not allow Chinese technicians to enter their countries while COVID is still active. This technology was developed in China, so they are best equipped to outfit the lines that will manufacture with larger cells. The expectation was this process would be completed before the end of Q3 of 2020, so 2021 included most manufacturers moving to larger cells for a portion of their production.

There are certain things to consider mitigating risk before making your next module purchase like selecting a company, such as USD, who is positioned to support consumers, producers and financiers, in their equipment purchases. Asking questions about where the industry is going, relating to social conditions in developing, building, permitting, and financing within the solar value chain. It is essential to also set corporate strategies that could range from very local approaches to disrupted marketplaces, and what works best for your company.
With global GDP expected to contract by 4% this year. Pressure on consumer spending will impact distributed solar PV markets. In the US, companies are taking cautionary measures by testing installers for COVID-19, to clear them for working on the premises. Before the pandemic, if a contract was not signed, some of these projects didn’t get to start. However, once the country goes into a ‘new normal,’ these projects are expected to get contracted and built again.

If you have two months before requiring modules please let us know, and we will remove all risk by auditing your order from BOM through delivery.

We are expecting the market to recover in 2021 as project spill-over, but the global recession puts a dampener on growth. Some responses from policymakers have been negative; others will support the industry through a challenging period. In countries such as Germany has suspended the interconnection deadlines for auctioned renewable power projects from March 2020, and extensions up to 6 months on PV projects previously approved; and Spain, who after halting all non-essential activities between March 30th and April 9th, is lifting restrictions for new-build solar PV sites.

The European Union’s Renewable Energy Financing Mechanism is being developed to support of FIDs in 2020 and 2021. China has delays in project bid submission for federal auction and subsidy-free projects by 1 ½ month. Mexico has suspended the interconnection of all new renewable power projects. Additionally, Turkey has suspended applications for new renewable power projects, including a second 1 GW YEKA auction delayed until 2021. For the US market, please review the residential. Commercial and Utility markets bullets below.

Residential solar PV:

  • There are a few customer acquisition challenges.
  • The enticing of consumers to have installers on property.
  • It’s difficult to maintain social distancing on small rooftops.
  • Slow connection of new systems.
  • Processing planning applications is a low priority.
  • Recession will reduce discretionary household spending.

Commercial and industrial (C&I) solar PV

  • There is a lower power demand from the C&I sector.
  • Slow connection times to get new DG systems online.
  • The processing of planning applications is a low priority.
  • Lockdowns hit the commercial sector, particularly hard.
  • A recession reduces discretionary investments
Utility-scale solar PV

  • Logistical and transportation challenges.
  • On-site positive cases will lead to site shutdowns.
  • There is a shortage of skilled workers created by travel restrictions.
  • Land acquisitions are difficult with travel restrictions.
  • Slow-down in the permitting process.
  • Reduction in power prices impacts some existing and new project economics.
  • Weaker FX rates in some countries impacting their economics.
  • Financing and PPA negotiations are more challenging due to uncertainty around demand and price movement.
  • Projects are experiencing a slightly increased cost of debt.
USD focuses on ensuring our customers have a pleasant experience purchasing modules. We have refined the steps of the bid, acceptance, and delivery process. We perform the steps required to satisfy the requirements of all the parties in the acquisition and sale. Please contact us with any questions, and we can help you better understand the value of hiring module professionals to assist your module purchase process.

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