COVID-19 causes uncertainty for UK’s energy sector while India remains stable


GlobalData has released two new reports exploring the impact of COVID-19 on the energy sector in the UK and in India.

According to the research firm, 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.

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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 the 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.”

Meanwhile in India, GlobalData 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 expects 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.

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