We anticipate serious challenges for both solar- and wind-energy sectors.
While tax credits in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in the USA are providing incentives for solar project construction (and other renewable projects) and creating anticipation for extraordinary growth, supply chain challenges from myriad quarters are pushing development and construction back further and further.
As Lightsource bp CEO-Americas Kevin Smith notes in this piece from Reuters about worsening supply chain woes, “The time it takes to develop a 100 MW solar project in the U.S. from greenfield to starting construction has increased from 18-24 months to 36-48 months.”
Other issues are contributing to delays, as well, such as new requirements to prove the value chain is not reliant on production by forced labor in China, as well as “inflation, high interest rates and lingering supply chain disruption following the pandemic.” On top of that, there is increasing uncertainty for developers related to new U.S. tariffs coming soon for suppliers in several Asian nations.
The takeaway? Solar energy companies can no longer assume supply-chain partners, including customers that traditionally have provided materials and components, will be able to come through as they always have. Subsequently, it’s critical for companies to create, line up and implement contingency plans and alternatives right now.