Assessing the impact and risks for renewable energy as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic

The coronavirus crisis has already had a significant effect on economic activity across the globe - and the renewable energy sector has not been shielded from this.

The “lockdown” imposed by national governments in a bid to contain the virus has resulted in recent announcements by turbine manufacturers of job losses and reduced product lines, together with travel and manufacturing being halted and a significant reduction in energy demand and transport.

The sector is also bracing for a slump in power prices and the prospect of consumers and businesses struggling to pay energy bills.

Despite this, the industry remains optimistic about the long-term future; the energy transition is taking shape and, as we are all aware, resilience has always been a key feature of the renewable energy sector.

Investment in low carbon infrastructure is a long-term investment and therefore the drivers behind the need for renewable energy generation, flexibility and supply are unlikely to be significantly impacted once the economic slowdown and crisis are over.

In many ways, the sector has a strong opportunity to ensure that it is at the forefront of the rebuilding that our economy will need, together with advancing the energy transition and the low carbon benefits that it will bring.

A number of Burness Paull’s key renewable energy clients share this view and are continuing to press ahead with project acquisitions and developments, adapting as necessary to the unknowns that the Covid-19 pandemic provides, and seeking to ensure that the sector does not stand still in the face of this global health and economic crisis.

Leaving aside the wider macroeconomic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on the sector, we have collated a detailed guide looking at the challenges around project development and the more pressing practical issues faced by developers in the UK at this time.

In doing this, we have assessed a project across the key development areas and considered the relevant counterparties, to provide some insight into where developers should be focusing attention and assessing the risks to project development that may have arisen as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Topics covered include:

  • Regulatory and grid connection
  • Construction
  • Commercial contracts
  • Planning
  • Financing
  • Property

No one person or organisation has all the answers being posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Our aim is to be part of the collaborative solution to the challenges that lie ahead, and to do what we can to bring the industry together and promote its future.

COVID-19: Summary of Issues for Renewable Energy Developments