The coronavirus outbreak is upsetting the schedule of solar energy projects as procurement of modules and panels from China is being delayed, developers said.
About 90% of solar modules and panels used in Indian solar projects are imported from China and Malaysia. “There is a delay in the procurement, which will cause further delays in our commissioning deadlines,” said Sanjeev Aggarwal, CEO at Amplus Solar, a leading rooftop solar developer. There has been 20 day delay so far, Aggarwal said.
The Chinese lunar New Year holiday was extended by a week to prevent the outbreak from spreading. Many developers for whom dispatches had to be sent out after the New Year holiday have been delayed by a week
"We are closely watching the situation. At this stage, it is difficult to comprehend whether there will be any major impact on our projects since many manufacturing units have not recommenced manufacturing post the vacation.
“We are sourcing inverters and other smaller components from China, which have also been delayed".
“It will have an impact on those developers who are buying on a spot basis like those who might need them two weeks from now,” a solar developer said on condition of anonymity. Most of these spot buyers of small quantities are rooftop developers.
Whether the effect will be severe is yet to be seen, said another developer. “If manufacturing is shut for a long time, then you may start to see an effect on prices,” this person said.
Anand Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy said an extension might be granted by the ministry if developers are able to prove that shipments from China have been delayed. "This is a force majeure situation. If developers can prove there has been a delay, we'll definitely be open to that," said Kumar. "But until now I have not received any such cases."
Referred from economic times, 12 Feb 2020.