Coronavirus could deliver first global solar market contraction since 1980s, says BNEF

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The global solar industry is facing its first year of contracted growth in decades, Bloomberg New Energy Finance has warned, as the global spread of the novel Coronavirus takes effect.

In a report on the likely effects of COVID-19 on the transition to a clean economy, Bloomberg NEF cut its global solar demand forecast for 2020 from 121-152GW (in February) to 108-143GW.

“As of March 12, 2020, it appears likely that the Coronavirus outbreak will be a significant global crisis, triggering an economic slowdown,” the report says.

It noted that while supply concerns had eased with Chinese factories gearing back up to full capacity, concern was increasing around demand as policymakers shifted their attention to containing the spread of COVID-19.

“This could make 2020 the first down year for solar capacity addition since at least the 1980s,” BNEF said.

For the wind energy market, BNEF said it saw some downside risk to its global forecast of 75.4GW, but still expected a “record year” of growth in installed capacity.