Evidence Abounds Renewable Energy Gains over Fossil Fuels as Clamor for Green Recovery Rises 2020-05-07 11:35:41

Covid-19 Weekly Briefing: Evidence Abounds Renewable Energy Gains over Fossil Fuels as Clamor for Green Recovery Rises

Portugal set a new record without coal due to the pandemic while Belgium and Israel decided to help the renewable energy industry. But there was bad news in Mexico and Turkey, and Bangladeshi clean energy companies called for more assistance.

 May 6th, 2020

Yesterday, 52 days without coal-fired electricity production in Portugal.


The English consultancy Cornwall Insights has produced more evidence today that renewable energy sources carry the Covid-19 interlocking electric mix, with gas and coal production being relegated to load peak services.


The analyst calculated reductions in the demand for electricity and in the carbon intensity of the electricity produced in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom from March 23, the date on which the British foreclosure began until April 20, from 11.5% in Germany to 17.2% in the United Kingdom and reductions in carbon intensity varied from 15.9% in Italy to 35.9% in Germany.


"Many grid operators are now able to manage grids at 70% or more of renewable energy and with a much lower demand level than expected, even a few months ago," said Tom. Andrews, senior analyst at Cornwall Insight. “The balance of generations should return to normal as the countries come out of the lock. However, this demonstrated that the management of a network with high renewable penetration is possible. This could become the new standard as more renewable production is rolled out across Europe. "


The environmental campaign group Europe Beyond Coal reported that Portugal set a new 52-day record yesterday without producing coal-fired electricity. The fall in energy demand, caused by the closure of Covid-19, has weighed on the production of energy from fossil fuels, the share of the electricity generation mix of Portugal supplied by renewable energies having passed from 63% to 77% in the past two months, depending on the pressure group.


A green recovery


The UK industry body, the Solar Trade Association (STA), welcomed the recommendation made today by the government's advisory committee, the Climate Change Committee, to mainstream the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. And to fight climate change as an essential part of the economic recovery after Covid-19. STA Executive Director Chris Hewett said, "The government must not miss this golden opportunity to put renewable energy at the heart of the recovery. Solar and energy storage, in particular, offers opportunities for rapid and labor-intensive growth, with medium-sized ground sites that can be built in a few months and rooftop installations often taking only a day or two. There is an 8 GW pipeline of solar projects ready to be unlocked. "


The Solea subsidiary of the French automation company Sirea has developed a disinfectant manufacturer that can produce 8 to 16 liters per day when it is powered by solar energy. The machine, which uses hydrolysis to create the liquid, could be particularly suitable for Africa and other off-grid markets.


Lennie Moreno, CEO of the developer of solar sales platform Sofdesk, will participate in a PV USA magazine webinar tonight on how PV installers and financiers can maximize their sales process in the era of social distancing. Registration is available here for the webinar, which should start at 8 p.m. (CET).


Role of renewable energies


Also in Australia, calls have been made for an economic recovery driven by renewable energy after the coronavirus crisis. Supporters say the approach could encourage investment and accelerate the country's energy transition. A report released by the Renewable Energy Association, the Clean Energy Council, suggested yesterday that highlighting gigawatts of clean energy projects in the development pipeline would directly create more than 50,000 new jobs - more many more indirect construction jobs; would triple the amount of large-scale renewable generation capacity installed in Australia by adding more than 30 GW of new projects; and would inject 50 billion Australian dollars (32.2 billion dollars investments in the Australian economy - largely in rural and regional areas.


Analyst, India's rating and research agency, announced yesterday that thermal energy production in March was down 11.1% from last year, as fossil fuels suffered the weight of the drop in electricity demand caused by the locking of Covid-19. Renewable energies - including hydroelectricity - and nuclear have not been affected because of their "must-have" status.


A study of permit figures and online research found that domestic residential solar installers were resisting the Covid-19 storm in the United States.


Study of license numbers and online research found that domestic residential solar installers withstand the Covid-19 storm in the United States better than their smaller competitors, who may suffer brand recognition and less significant online presence. Wes De Silvestro and Raymond Wang, founders of the start-up Civology which uses technology to fight climate change, have carried out research that revealed that the national actor Vivint only experienced a 2% drop in the interest of consumers since the beginning of the American blockages. SunRun and Tesla were 55% and 80% respectively, and the number of permits indicated that local installers were completing 45% fewer projects than their national counterparts since the introduction of the coronavirus measures.


Access denied


The Mexican electricity market regulator has blocked grid connections for all new solar and wind projects since Sunday and until further notice, citing the need to protect energy security during the Covid-19 crisis. Critics say a hostile renewable energy regime is using the pandemic as an excuse.


Nigerian solar company Green Village Electricity (GVE) installed photovoltaic systems to power Covid-19 isolation and treatment centers in Enugu and Rivers states, funded by established All On impact investment fund by major oil company Shell. Port Harcourt-based GVE said it is working with partners to provide free electricity to 21 health centers on the mini-grids it operates in eight Nigerian states, as well as to other health facilities nationwide. The project partners are the IEEE Smart Village impact investment fund managed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers of New Jersey, the Chinese photovoltaic manufacturer JinkoSolar, the French supplier of solar inverters Schneider Electric, the Nigerian company of oil and gas Ardova plc and the engineer of Lagos Tranos.


The Turkish energy regulator has postponed monthly meetings of a technical committee that assesses solar net metering applications, effectively halting the deployment of new net metering networks until further notice. The regulator raised the risk of spreading Covid-19 at rallies, but solar companies said the committee could do its work remotely.


Back to business


The Indian manufacturer, installer, and developer of photovoltaic projects MicroSun Solar resumed operations on Monday. The Bangalore-based company said its manufacturing plant in its hometown and warehouses in India had been closed since the national foreclosure of Covid-19 on March 24. The company said its working arrangements now include social distancing, mandatory and twice-daily masks. monitoring employee body temperatures.


The long-standing attempt by China solar module and cell manufacturer to resume trading in stocks that have been suspended on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange since August 2013 was halted by the Covid-19 outbreak. The public health crisis has delayed due diligence on proposed transactions to help the company resume operations with funding from real estate and logistics magnate Cheung Shun Lee.


As the Bangladesh government extends mid-month coronavirus industrial shutdown, solar manufacturers have asked authorities for nearly $ 59 million in loans, grants and tax incentives over five years to help them survive the crisis.


Maintenance of subsidies


Plans to change the subsidy level for solar projects in the Brussels region of Belgium early next month have been postponed to New Years, to help the local industry weather the Covid-19 crisis.


Although the Covid-19 pandemic threatens the policies introduced to combat climate change, governments formulating state bailouts for carbon-intensive industries should avoid the temptation to add short-term environmental conditions to state aid, according to ETH Zurich principal researcher Bjarne Steffen. The academic - speaking at a workshop on machine learning and climate change hosted by the Climate Change AI university and machine learning industry group at the International Conference on Learning Representations - said that instead, governments should take a longer-term view on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Rise of renewable energies


The International Energy Agency's (IEA) Global Energy Review report on Thursday argued that renewable energy is the only source of energy production that is experiencing increasing demand and penetration amid declining energy demand caused by the industrial closings of Covid-19. The priority sending of renewable energies and the drop in operating costs mean that the IEA expects solar, wind and hydroelectric energy to increase during the public health crisis and the economic recovery that is taking place then.


Chinese solar project developer GCL New Energy has announced that participants in a crucial shareholder vote scheduled for May 21 in Hong Kong will need to bring their own face masks and that temperature testing will be mandatory.


The Israeli plan to recover 25 billion ILS ($ 7.1 billion) Covid-19 includes 6.5 billion ILS to pay for 2 GW of new solar generation capacity.

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