GlobalData has released two new reports exploring the impact of COVID-19 on the energy sector in the UK and in India.
In India, the research company expects COVID-19 to have a minimum impact on the country’s renewable energy industry.
The disruption on logistics and supply chain of the Coronavirus is expected to remain low. Recently, India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy announced that clean energy projects have not been affected by the falling electricity demand following a nationwide lockdown.
“In case of solar PV, India has the option of turning to domestic manufacturers for PV modules in a scenario where the supply from foreign manufacturers becomes a hurdle. This would boost the morale of the domestic manufacturers and minimize the damage caused to the sector.
“Although countries like Australia expect to have a significant drop in the number of fresh monthly installation, India does not expect any such major impacts to come its way after the lockdown period comes to an end,” concludes Das.
India’s solar sector supporting COVID-19 response
According to GlobalData, India’s silicon PV manufacturer Central Electronics plans to put together its technical expertise to ramp-up the production of ICU ventilators in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Somik Das, Senior Power Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Ventilator shortage has been an issue that the government has been closely monitoring, and several steps are being taken to ensure hospitals are well equipped and face no shortage of ventilators that are essential in managing the critical COVID-19 patients.”
The data shows there are only 8,432 ventilators in the public sector in India. The scarcity is mostly present in the major pandemic hit areas. For instance, Mumbai has 800 to 1,000 ventilators, while states such as Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh have 1,500 and 1,800, respectively.
Hence, it is clear that other manufacturing entities, from other sectors, need to join hands and repurpose their pipeline schedules to help the nation with the supply of this medical equipment.
Das concludes: “Central Electronics joins a growing list of solar companies, like Tesla Solar, that is now venturing into the development of ventilators to help fight back against the COVID-19 pandemic.”
UK energy market uncertain
In the UK, however, the research firm highlights how changes in energy demand patterns are encouraging uncertainty in the UK’s energy sector as residential demand increases whilst commercial and industrial sectors reduce slightly.
The commercial and industrial sectors are only expected to reduce their demand heavily in the event that employees continue to work remotely for another two months, according to National Grid Electricity System Operator.
The increased consumption in the residential sector would not be able to offset the reduction in the consumption in industrial and commercial sectors. This would eventually lead to a drop in electricity prices.
Somik Das, Senior Power Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “With schools, hospitals and offices in lockdown, the UK’s dependable power grid should have minimal challenges to cater to the residential sector where the demand is expected to spike.
“Renewable energy developers pondering over the COVID-19 economic uncertainty will resort to short-term fixed power purchase agreements (PPAs) and such PPAs will ensure price certainty and protection.
“As long as the UK avoids reductions in basic fuel supply, and staff at power stations do not collectively fall ill, there is little to worry about. However, if maintenance regimes are not met at individual plants, there is a risk some may have to be shut down. As the nation lives through the pandemic, it is stringent on not letting the focus shift from boosting renewables.”