Market researcher Wood Mackenzie has trimmed its forecast for global wind installations in 2020 by 6.5%, or 4.9 gigawatts (GW), as the industry grapples with the impact and implications of the coronavirus outbreak.
Shuttered manufacturing capacity, closed borders and the threat of canceled or postponed tenders all play a part in the downgrade, which could hit major European markets hardest. WoodMac now expects the world to add 73 GW of new wind capacity in 2020, still a solid jump from the 62 GW built in 2019.
Supportive policy moves were likely to enable the shifting of projects into 2021 without penalty, rather than offering new routes to market. Germany, for one, has confirmed it will waive penalties for delayed projects.
Driven by booming demand in China and the U.S., where developers face declining subsidies, wind developers placed a record 100 GW worth of turbine orders last year. Yet while the world's top two wind markets may take the biggest hit in terms of megawatts, in percentage terms there could be greater pain in Italy, France and Spain, with aggressive lockdown measures now in place.
The global nature of the wind supply chain is likely to limit the impact. Indeed, U.S. engineering, procurement and construction firms have told Wood Mackenzie that they have not seen any supply chain problems thus far.
Shashi Barla, Wood Mackenzie's principal analyst for global wind supply chain and technology, told GTM that China had lost between six and eight weeks of production.
"Most companies will be running one or two eight-hour shifts per day. One option could be to increase this, to work two shifts instead of one or even 24 hours per day, if necessary, to compensate for the volume that's been jeopardized," Barla said.
(Writing by Becky Du Editing by Tammy Yang)
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