COVID-19 has impacted industries across the globe, and solar has been no exception. The outlook for solar has changed dramatically, with the US seeing a 38% decline in employment of workers in the field through June 2020 compared to 2019 (SEIA). However, as the world is finding a “new normal” within which to work, the solar industry is starting to look to return to pre-pandemic levels of growth and advancements (Market Scale).
The International Energy Agency has published a report on the impact of COVID-19 on the renewable energy market. The report shows that the COVID-19 crisis is hurting, but not halting, global renewable energy growth. Lockdowns were seen globally in February through mid-May in 2020, but these have now mostly been lifted. However, safety regulations and mobility restrictions disrupted supply chains for all renewable energy industries, with specific impact on onshore wind and solar power (IEA).
Global renewable electricity capacity additions reduced ~11% in the first half of 2020 compared to 2019, but this trend is now reversing. While 2020 will remain a slow year for solar installations, 2021 is expected to see positive growth. This is especially evident as multiple countries have seen their governments rolling out plans for increased renewable energy investments.
While 2020 has been a tough year, it is clear that the solar industry is not going anywhere, and, as the economy continues to recover, so will the solar market.