Coronavirus prompting solar module shortage, higher prices

Solar farm investments in Greece are being affected by the coronavirus crisis in China, dominating global module supply in recent years.

Transportation difficulties, seen deteriorating further, have forced solar module  suppliers to trigger agreement clauses for extraordinary cases permitting delivery delays of at least 90 days.

Also, Chinese suppliers are making order revisions, sending out products in stock rather than items specifically ordered.

For the time being, this shortage has not prompted price changes for existing solar panel orders. However, price levels for new orders have risen by levels of as much as 10 percent, energypress sources have informed.

These revisions in delivery time and price level threaten to stretch certain projects beyond feasibility limits. In some cases, investors who had assumed a continual drop in solar module price levels may need to wait for prices to resettle before pursuing project plans.

A growing number of players in the Greek market feel the need for a deferral of solar project RES auctions. An official request is likely to be submitted to RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy. An immediate drop in price levels is seen as unlikely, even if the coronavirus spread is brought under control.

China intends to raise its domestic solar-panel installation objective in 2020 from 30 GW to 50 GW in order to offset its coronavirus-related GDP loss. If so, a far greater number of solar modules would be absorbed by the Chinese market, subsequently prolonging the global shortage and keeping prices higher for a sustained period.

According to various forecasts, Chinese solar module price levels will remain at escalated levels until the third quarter this year.