COVID-19: Switzerland avoids a slump in the solar market


In Switzerland, the government has increased its financial support of residential and commercial rooftop solar energy markets to help the sectors withstand the COVID-19 crisis.

The Swiss government has increased its financial support of its solar PV rebate scheme by $47 million. This means up to $387.6 million is now available in rebates for rooftop solar energy projects.

There is a high probability that the country’s solar energy market will be negatively impacted by the pandemic, according to GlobalData.

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Switzerland recorded an increase in the number of residential consumers applying for rebates between 2018 and January 2020. Applications have declined over the past four months, a trend expected to continue due to the worsening pandemic.

Authorities predict the situation would lead to failures in compensating for project costs.

Even with supply chain disruptions and prospective rise in investment costs, the guaranteed coverage of the Swiss rebate scheme has chances of experiencing a drop.

Somik Das, a senior power analyst at GlobalData, said: “In 2018, the Swiss Photovoltaic Association, Swissolar, introduced the rebate scheme to benefit the residential and commercial PV customers. The rebate scheme was targeted at not only reducing the waiting time for the implementation of FIT contracts but also guarantee maximum coverage of 30% of the investment costs. The scheme acted as a massive push for more consumers to apply for the solar PV systems.”

“The increase in the funding of the rebate programme would put these concerns to rest. The extra funding will not only expand the rebate budget, helping authorities to maintain the guaranteed coverage against investment cost but also help reduce the waiting time for payments.

“The number of large projects awaiting payments has already started decreasing. Clearly, in the pandemic, the Swiss government with the expanded rebate budget averted the solar PV sector to experience a major blow.”