Pandemic fallout making projects no longer viable

Up to three gigawatts of large scale wind and solar projects could be delayed in Australia as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, and its impact on the local currency, debt markets, and appetite for new investments.

Renew Economy is reporting that global energy analyst group Rystad says it had expected 2GW to 3GW to reach financial close or begin construction in 2020, mostly large-scale solar, and while 530MW of solar PV capacity and 210MW of wind capacity has reached financial close so far this year, it didn’t expect much else to do so.

“Covid-19 has hit the Australian renewables industry hard,” Rystad said in its analysis.

“The delays and cancellations are largely the result of the falling Australian dollar, which has plummeted 20 per cent relative to the US dollar since the beginning of January. This has resulted in capex increases for both utility PV and wind projects, making once viable projects no longer economical.“

The report cites developers such as UPC, Neoen, Wollar Solar and Canadian Solar, along with Tilt and Goldwind, as being the most impacted.

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