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Covid-19 Impact Survey: News from Chile Self-Supply Renewable Energy

July 24, 2020
Chile Solar Panels
Image: © GIZ Chile

The ongoing pandemic has placed considerable stress on emerging economies in general – but hit particularly hard are specific segments of renewable energy.

The results of the survey may be found below, while the team in Chile has drawn the following conclusions:

  • SMEs are the main target group of our project and are hit especially hard by the current conditions. The technical components has conducted a first representative assessment of the global pandemic’s impact on the solar PV market in Chile – and a better understanding of the actual conditions is essential for finding solutions.
  • In this context we can highlight the contributions of the project to advance solar PV on the Chilean market, as it aims to increase the a) visibility among end-users and b) price transparency in the local market.
  • The financial component of the project is about to be  launched in third quarter 2020 and the counterparts of the project are examining in which ways its mechanisms (prefeasibility studies and co-financing) can be specifically adapted to support SMEs in this crisis.

Survey on the impact of the Coronavirus on solar PV businesses in Chile

Chile has been severely impacted by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and has one of the highest infection rates worldwide. Large parts of the country have been under a complete lock-down for several months with stark implications for the local economy. In order to assess the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 health crisis on the Chilean Photovoltaics (PV) market, the NAMA Support Project “Self-Supply Renewable Energy” developed a survey which was carried out by ACESOL, the Chilean Association for Solar Energy, among its member companies.

The results of this representative survey indicate that the impact of the crisis is perceived differently depending on the size of the companies, as well as the measures they plan on taking to confront the challenges. Overall, 38% of the companies indicated that they are being severely affected by the crisis and additional 11% see themselves at risk of closure, smaller companies generally indicating higher levels of negative impacts than large companies.

Compared to their sales in 2019, 45% of micro businesses see a decrease of more than 75% and 40% of small businesses see a decrease between 50 and 75%. Meanwhile, more than 60% of large companies responded that the decrease in sales is 25% or less.

The majority of the SMEs responded that the lack of demand for new projects and the decrease in sales are the most pressing challenges, while larger companies note a significant delay of imported parts and systems. When asked for the measures they want to take to confront the crisis, “laying off staff” was the most common answer (55% of micro-, 35% of small-, 22% of medium- and 20% of large businesses). The second most common answer, especially among large companies, was “seeking bank loans”.

This NAMA Support Project promotes renewable energy for self-supply in Chile and has recently published the following materials to advance photovoltaics systems (in Spanish language):

Learn more about Chile – Self-Supply Renewable Energy (SSRE) project.