Fitch Ratings Identifies Construction and Operational Risks in Solar Panel Industry from Sitting, Sun, Tech and Regs
Construction delays, actual output, unpredictable technology and shifts in regulations present distinct risks to solar power projects, this according to a new Fitch Ratings report on more than 25 public and private large-scale photovoltaic, concentrating PV and thermal concentrating solar power projects over the past two years.
With land requirements averaging six to ten acres per MW, these utility-driven solar projects are vulnerable to environmental and archeological risks resulting in timely, and costly, construction delays, according to independent engineer's input on agreement terms, liquidity and permitting status.
Fitch, in its report, also called into question the accuracy of solar production forecasts given historical patterns and the uncertainty of climate change over the next 20 years. Limited long-term data raises the concern that forecasts on performance data and overall project costs may differ from what was originally thought.
Changes in the political landscape and regulations regarding the manufacturing and use of solar panels, along with ever-changing available and employed technology and maintenance practices, also present an uncertainty in the industry. Projects with higher liquidity are obviously able to withstand these unforseen risks better.
A special report titled "Construction and Operational Solar Project Issues" is available on the Fitch Ratings website at www.fitchratings.com