The power sector suffered a 2.5% contraction in demand during the first quarter of 2020 due to the lockdowns implemented worldwide to limit the COVID-19 spread. The demand is expected to contract by 5% by the end of 2020, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
Verdict has conducted a poll to assess which sub-sectors in the power industry among solar, wind, nuclear, hydro, and thermal will witness the fastest recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Analysis of the results shows that the solar subsector is expected to recover faster than the other sectors, as opined by a majority 40% of the respondents.
A lesser 17% of the respondents felt that wind will recover quicker, while 16% felt that the nuclear subsector will recover faster than other subsectors.
Whereas 15% of the respondents felt that the hydroelectric will be the fastest to recover and 12% voted that thermal will recover faster than others.
The analysis is based on 384 responses received between 18 June and 07 July from the readers of Verdict’s Power Technology site.
COVID-19 to impact renewable capacity additions
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the power mix as increased residential demand due to lockdown measures couldn’t completely offset the drop in commercial and industrial electricity demand.
The output from thermal sources declined, whereas that from renewable sources is unaffected due to the demand fluctuations.
Renewable capacity addition is, however, expected to be impacted due to supply chain disruptions, construction delays, and financing issues. Further, falling fossil fuel prices make thermal resources attractive making the future development of renewable energy resources dependent on climate change policies adopted by governments.
Solar photovoltaic (PV) additions are expected to decline by 17% in 2020, while wind additions are projected to contract by 12% although utility-scale PV and wind are expected to recover, according to the IEA. Capacity addition in sectors such as hydropower, offshore wind, and concentrated solar power plants is expected to be limited due to the long lead times.