Sunday April 5th… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ET’s will be listed at the very end of my article, below the news section for each day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ET’s (not extraterrestrials)😉
Main Topic: What COVID19 Is Doing To Renewables
Dear Diary. As we know now the coronavirus has produced an instant recession if not a depression for the United States and many other countries, threatening small and big businesses worldwide. Renewable energy companies are fairly young, most being no more than a decade old. What signs are we beginning to see in which this pandemic are affecting theses essential entities for our long range future?
Today as the main topic I am presenting an Inside Climate News article summarizing how the pandemic is affecting all things green. I’ll post some of this with a link, which you should click on to read in its entirety (first three questions then answers):
Inside Clean Energy: 7 Questions (and Answers) About How Covid-19 is Affecting the Clean Energy Transition
From EV sales to the solar market to states’ commitments to clean energy, the coronavirus pandemic is turning everything on its head.
Apr 2, 2020
I’m exhausted and I bet you are too. As we enter another month of the coronavirus crisis, my family, like yours, I imagine, is homebound and missing normal life.
I want to know how the virus will affect specific industries that I cover, and timetables for important projects. The answer, almost all the time, is, “We don’t know,” or, more precisely, “The economic shock caused by the virus will have an effect and we don’t know how large it will be.”
Here are some of the questions I’m asking, and a few of the answers I’m receiving:
Just a month ago, there was momentum for several states to pass legislation setting out paths for a transition to clean energy. Virginia led the way with a measure it passed last month. Now lawmakers are in crisis mode, and although some proposals may still pass this year, it’s anyone’s guess what will happen. I’ve been watching Minnesota, where there are competing versions of legislation that would commit the state to making the transition to carbon-free electricity by mid-century, and a May 18 deadline before the legislature adjourns.
“We’re working on it and hopeful,” while also responding to the Covid-19 crisis, said Sen. David Senjem, a Republican and the lead sponsor of the Minnesota Senate version of the bill. Republicans control the Senate while Democrats control the House, and Gov. Tim Walz is a Democrat. There remain some key differences, such as whether the bill should include a hard deadline by which all fossil fuel plants would close, and lawmakers are running out of time to find common ground.
There is a rule of thumb that low gasoline prices are bad for electric vehicle sales. But right now the role of gasoline prices is being trumped by an even bigger issue: The U.S. auto industry, like much of the economy, is in a tailspin. Manufacturers have idled assembly lines and the dealerships that remain open are seeing almost no customer traffic. IHS Markit is projecting that new-car sales in the United States will drop by 15 percent compared to 2019, which is a severe decrease.
BloombergNEF analysts said in a report last month that “the outlook for the U.S, EV market darkens,” citing low gasoline prices and expiring tax credits. This adds up to an anemic electric vehicle market in 2020, dashing hopes of clean energy advocates who had hoped for big gains this year.
Many rooftop solar businesses depend on face-to-face contact, whether it be knocking on doors or making sales presentations in a customer’s living room. Also, solar is a discretionary expense for many consumers, something they can delay during times of financial uncertainty. This adds up to a troubling outlook for companies that sell and install solar panels on houses and businesses.
Philip Shen, an analyst for Roth Capital Partners said in a March 13 research note that “some U.S. installers are now seeing a 30% cancellation or postponement of bookings, and the sales funnel is drying up.” It’s probably safe to say that the situation has gotten worse since then. As with EVs, the coronavirus has flipped the script in a year when the solar industry was primed for growth.
In recent days I have seen a couple of positive notes on how COVID19 is affecting pollution, which we’ve addressed, and now green energy use. Here is another from the UK:
I’ll report more on how COVID19 is interacting with the globe’s efforts to switch to renewables over the course of this extremely pivotal year for the human race.
Now, here are some of todays articles on the horrendous coronavirus pandemic:
Here is more climate and weather news from Sunday:
(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article.)
(If you like these posts and my work please contribute via the PayPal widget, which has recently been added to this site. Thanks in advance for any support.)
Guy Walton “The Climate Guy”