Global wind power production capacity could be cut by up to a fifth this year as a result of Covid-19 restrictions, with ongoing measures set to make a return to earlier levels tricky, said analysts at Wood Mackenzie.
Action taken by companies and ordered by governments as coronavirus sweeps around the world will reduce the industry’s total capacity by 15-20% in 2020, said the research group in its latest update on the virus’s impact.
Wood Mackenzie identified blades as a main component facing particular challenges, with both manufacturing and raw material supplies under pressure.
Since the start of the epidemic Recharge has reported blade plant production halts rolling from China to the UK, Spain, India and the US.
Factories that have faced temporary closure include one of the flagships of the offshore wind sector, the Siemens Gamesa facility in Hull, England, which reopened after heightened precautions were put in place.
As recently as last week a major outbreak in the US led GE to close the LM Wind Power blade plant in North Dakota.
Wood Mackenzie also warned that picking up productivity at wind equipment plants could be a slow process.
“Production capacity at re-opened plants may have trouble reaching pre-crisis levels as a result of social distancing and protective equipment requirement,” said the research group.