New Energy Solar optimistic despite wild weather, bushfires and Covid-19 impacts

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ASX-listed solar farm developer New Energy Solar has set the scene for a very positive outlook for the clean energy sector in 2021, after a turbulent 2020 that included catastrophic bushfires, a higher Australian dollar, and the Covid-19 pandemic.

New Energy Solar reported a $74.3 million loss for 2020, after a 36% increase in underlying earnings was wiped out by the impact of reduced valuations of the company’s portfolio.

The company said its revenues had been hit by a range of weather events that had reduced the performance of a number of its solar farms, including fires in California and rainy weather in New South Wales and North Carolina.

It had also been frustrated by what it sees as an undervaluation of its shares, which were trading at around 80 cents, despite the underlying asset value of the company’s portfolio sitting at $1.17 per share.

CEO John Martin said that while the past 12 months had proved to be “unusual and challenging,” for the clean energy sector it had also been “a surprising year” that saw major renewables growth and governments rallying to combat climate change.

“The combination of a Biden win and Congress passing legislation to extend the clean energy tax credit scheme and introduce a range of clean energy support measures lead to heightened expectations of resumption of growth in renewable energy investment,” he said.