The unprecedented epidemic of black swans has disrupted the economic rhythm of the world. For the first time, human beings have faced a large-scale epidemic with such a wide spread and such a cunning nature. In May, Europe, India and Southeast Asia will gradually open their economies and battle. It seems to have entered the second half, that is, the epidemic has been brought under initial control and the economy has fallen into prolonged weakness.
What are the opportunities and challenges for the photovoltaic industry in the second half of the battlefield?
The demand for power generation does not decrease but rises, the proportion of photovoltaics increases
According to IEA statistics, affected by the epidemic, among the 30 mainstream countries or regions that account for more than two-thirds of the global energy demand, the energy demand of countries under a complete blockade will decline by an average of 25% every week. Weekly fell by 18%. In the first quarter, global energy demand fell by 3.8%. Annual energy demand is expected to decrease by 6%, which will eliminate the demand growth in the past five years.
Among them, coal demand fell by nearly 8% in the first quarter, oil fell by nearly 5%, and natural gas fell by about 2%, but interestingly, the demand for renewable energy increased by about 1.5%. This part of the growth is mainly due to wind power and photovoltaics.
Most overseas countries, like China, have developed similar policies that give priority to the connection of renewable energy. Therefore, under the epidemic, a large amount of traditional energy has made way for wind power and photovoltaics. As a result, the proportion of wind power and photovoltaics in the power generation structure has been gained. Improved. In the first quarter of 2020, the use of renewable energy in all areas of the world increased by about 1.5% compared with the first quarter of 2019, and the amount of renewable energy generation increased by nearly 3%.
Domestically, due to the earliest confrontation with the epidemic, China ’s energy demand fell the most in the first quarter. IEA statistics reported a year-on-year decline of more than 7%. National Bureau of Statistics data showed that domestic power generation fell by 6.8% year-on-year, but wind power and photovoltaics both It has increased by 10.4% and 20.3% respectively, and consumption has remained at a relatively high level.
This is perhaps the only good news that photovoltaic people can talk about in the epidemic.
At present, the price of the photovoltaic product supply chain has stabilized and rebounded slightly. In May, as the traditional photovoltaic overseas markets in Europe, India, Southeast Asia and other countries relax their economic control, the inflection point of demand may usher in a glimmer of light. They have lowered their annual installation expectations, but they are generally above 100GW, which is also unsatisfactory.
Uncertainty of the installed demand
Globally, centralized installations have encountered obstacles more or less early, and have called on the government to postpone the connection to the network, etc., which is not unique to China. At present, the demand for new domestic installed capacity is stable, the impact of the general forecast is relatively small, and the 40GW problem is not large. In overseas markets, developed countries are gradually liberalizing their economic activities. The economic recovery curve is not expected to be much different from that of China. It is expected to usher in a recovery of installed capacity by the end of the second quarter. In this regard, the demand for installed capacity is relatively optimistic.
However, there are still a lot of uncertainties in the epidemic situation in emerging markets that have high hopes this year. Especially after the epidemic has passed, less developed regions such as India, Africa and South America may fall into currency devaluation and exchange rate turbulence. At present, its installed demand is full of uncertainty.
In developed markets such as Europe and the United States, due to the relatively high proportion of distributed photovoltaic installations, installations are currently blocked to a certain extent, because some countries prohibit people from entering public buildings such as shopping malls in response to the epidemic, and some communities have also banned outsiders from entering. It has also greatly hindered the installation of new distributed photovoltaics. The installation of distributed photovoltaics in some areas has completely stalled, and anxiously awaiting the inflection point of the epidemic.
However, although the demand for industrial electricity in Europe and the United States is currently being severely hit, the demand for electricity in the service industry is facing a crisis of collapse, but the demand for residential electricity has increased in the reverse direction. Holiday.
Therefore, the distributed photovoltaic power generation installed on the roofs of residents in the European and American markets has been relatively better absorbed. Due to the generally higher civil electricity price in overseas countries than that of industry and commerce, the characteristics of low operation and even zero operating cost make distributed photovoltaic power generation More favored, especially during the day, photovoltaic power generation has improved significantly in the structure of electricity use. For example, in Germany, since the social isolation began on March 22, the share of variable renewable energy has been higher than the same period in 2019.
Therefore, when the epidemic is over or the economy is liberalized, distributed photovoltaics may usher in some new peaks in demand.
Conflicts with traditional energy sources have intensified, and new energy sources have increased resistance under the competition for stocks
In fact, the biggest impact of the epidemic on the photovoltaic industry may not be the direct impact caused by installation and transportation delays, but the counterattack of traditional energy when the epidemic is over and faced with a messy and weak economy.
At present, although photovoltaics are not greatly affected by the epidemic on the power generation side, domestic module exports in the first quarter were basically the same as last year, but almost all of their growth came from giving way to coal and natural gas.
At present, photovoltaic power generation accounts for only about 3% of the world. From the standpoint of substitution, it is still an undoubted incremental market. However, at present, among the mainstream countries in the world, energy growth has entered an absolute stock fight, with the largest photovoltaic development. Obstacles are no longer high technical costs, but conflicts with the interests of traditional energy.
Under the epidemic situation, coal, oil, and natural gas are in a difficult situation. After the oil futures appeared the negative oil price black swan, on May 7, the CME Group rewritten the rules for natural gas futures to allow them to exist in the form of negative prices, and natural gas appeared. Negative prices also seem to be impossible. As for coal, affected by this, domestic inventories are high, and prices have panic-swept.
The situation of oil, coal and gas is difficult, or part of it will be transmitted to the photovoltaic industry chain. Liu Xianyun, Vice President of China Integrity Green Gold Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd. Two experts, Gao Weitao, head of the Green Finance Department of Golden Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd., believe that low oil prices will slow down the structuring of clean energy and slow down the development of renewable energy with wind and sunlight as the main body.
mainly reflects in:
1 To stabilize coal prices, and under pressure to maintain growth and stabilize employment, local governments may restart coal power investment or implement full capacity operation.
2 Under stable investment pressure, some regions may relax environmental protection requirements, and approval or “looseness” of high-pollution and high-emission environments involving oil and coal.
3 Against the backdrop of falling oil prices, the new energy vehicle industry may be hit.
In this regard, most countries or regions in the world are likely to be similar. Due to the significant price reduction of traditional energy sources, the global willingness to invest in renewable energy is decreasing. In addition to the United States, Europe such as Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia The four countries have also been “stuck behind” the energy transition, especially the cessation of thermal power development, and the “European Green Agreement” has been hit.