Pandemic-related uncertainty in the US solar industry — and the case for an ITC extension


Renewable energy industry officials are hopeful that a post-pandemic comeback is possible in 2021, but much will depend on whether the Covid-19 disruption is short lived and on how future pandemic-related legislative activity pans out.

One thing that’s already clear is that the potential for supply chain difficulties cannot be ignored, particularly if there is a post-pandemic surge in demand.

“Supply chain issues haven’t played out yet,” said George Strobel, co-founder and co-CEO of Monarch Capital.

A lot of the materials for projects planned for this year were ordered in 2019. However, in a worrying sign, the virus has forced solar manufacturer SunPower to idle its factories and cut its workforces. Additionally, industry officials are already reporting project delays, and that projects are missing developmental milestones due to state and local permitting delays, having to work projects with smaller crews and difficulties related to traveling to sites, among other issues.

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