Copy of Copy of COVID19 SoMe (2)
  • About the Response Hub
  • Impact on Wind Energy Policy and Regulation
  • Impact in Global Supply Chain
  • Country Updates
  • Webcasts

GWEC’s COVID-19 response hub has been set up to coordinate information and responses to the current pandemic, across the global wind energy sector. The hub gathers information from GWEC’s corporate members who are involved in supply chain manufacturing and project execution, national and regional associations, governments, international institutions, analysts and the press.

The aim of the Hub is to facilitate coordination and assistance to national associations and companies by sharing information, and making available best practice from across the world in terms of making sure we can continue to operate (safely) as an industry, and that the wind sector’s critical contribution to economic activities and growth is understood by policymakers.

The Hub will also monitor economic stimulus packages that are being designed or rolled out around the world, to help ensure that the wind sector is being fully consulted and taken into consideration. It is vitally important that we see green stimulus plans emerging in order to ensure sustainable economic growth post-COVID. It is also vital to ensure that momentum is not lost on the crucial issue of climate change in the context of a future economic bounce back.

GWEC and its partners will carry out a series of activities based around the Hub, including:

  • Weekly COVID-19 bulletin;
  • Monthly Webcast featuring expert insight from across different regions, sectors and institutions;
  • Policy coordination and providing information on best practice regulation from across the world, helping local associations and companies to understand this and incorporate into their discussions with government;
  • Position statements to enhance engagement around stimulus packages as these come into focus in different countries and regions.

Your support and engagement is vital. Please contact [email protected] for more information

GWEC is engaging with the industry and national associations globally to assess the impacts that the COVID-19 crisis will have on the wind energy industry including economic relief and stimulus packages to mitigate the impact of the crisis, extension of crucial policies such as Feed-in-Tariffs, tax credits, construction deadlines and auction rounds, as well as health and safety regulation to ensure that the global wind industry workforce is protected during this time as they are on the frontlines continuing to power our society.

It is crucial that the energy transition remains a top priority for all policymakers during this time, and that the right policies and regulations are in place so that the wind and other renewable industries can emerge from this crisis stronger than ever.

Policy and Regulatory Updates

[27/05/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: Green Deal to drive EU recovery effort

To ensure the recovery is “sustainable, even, inclusive and fair” for all Member States, the European Commission has proposed a new recovery instrument, Next Generation EU, embedded within a revamped long-term EU budget valued at €1.1tn between 2021-2027. Through Next Generation EU the Commission will borrow €750bn on the financial markets bringing the “total financial firepower” of the EU budget to €1.85tn. The Strategic Investment Facility will invest in key technologies for the clean energy transition, such as renewable and energy storage technologies, clean hydrogen, batteries, carbon capture and storage and sustainable energy infrastructure, said the Commission. The Commission will also release proposals to boost uptake of offshore renewable energy and to better integrate the energy system.

[21/05/2020 – The Washington Post] The Energy 202: Oil wells on federal lands got a break on payments. Renewables got big past-due bills

The Trump administration is giving some oil and gas producers drilling on federal lands a break on payments to the government due to the coronavirus crisis – while issuing bills to renewables. It’s reducing royalty payments and suspending leases for oil and gas companies in response to the viral outbreak, which has rocked energy markets so hard the price of a crucial U.S. oil benchmark actually traded below $0 last month. But as Will Englund and I report, wind and solar producers facing their own coronavirus head winds just received retroactive rent bills for their work on public lands.

[20/05/2020 – Bloomberg Green] World’s Greenest Coronavirus Recovery Package Arriving in Europe

European Commission President Ursula Von Den Leyen is set to transform her Green Deal strategy to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, into a coronavirus economic rescue plan that’ll rapidly drive private investment and create jobs across the continent, according to a draft document with details of the proposal seen by Bloomberg. The plan is part of the package that the EU executive will unveil on May 27 for the bloc’s jointly financed response to the pandemic-induced recession. The package will include a proposal for the EU’s next trillion-euro budget for the years 2021-2027 and a “recovery instrument” of at least half-a-trillion euros specifically designed to cushion the economic blow from the outbreak.

[20/05/2020 – The Guardian]Wrong signal:Norfolk coast windfarm planning delayed by up to five months

“The government has delayed the planning process for a major new windfarm off the Norfolk coast because of the coronavirus lockdown, with its developer to warning the move could “send the wrong signal” to the renewables industry. The delay comes amid an increase in calls from energy economists, business groups and energy companies for the UK to commit to a green economic recovery after the coronavirus crisis.”

[20/05/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: New renewables capacity to ‘fall 13%’

“The IEA’s ‘Renewable Market Update’ report, said the new installed renewables capacity will drop 13% this year to 167GW as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. It said projected decline reflects possible delays in construction activity due to supply chain disruptions, lockdown measures and social distancing guidelines, as well as emerging financing challenges. But, the overall global renewable power capacity will grow by 6% in 2020. IEA added that growth in new capacity is expected to resume in 2021 as most of the delayed projects come online and “assuming a continuation of supportive government policies”.”

[19/05/2020 – Bloomberg Law] Companies Worth $2 Trillion Are Calling for a Green Recovery

A group of companies worth a combined $2.4 trillion have added their voice to a growing chorus calling for the economic recovery from the coronavirus to be green. Adobe Inc., Unilever NV and more than 150 other companies have signed a statement asking officials to ensure their response to the pandemic is “grounded in bold climate action” and to prioritize moving to “a green economy by aligning policies and recovery plans with the latest climate science.”

[19/05/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: Lower demand hits renewables revenues

Sharp decline in British renewable generator revenues has been caused since the country’s COVID-19 lockdown resulted in a significant decline in wholesale prices. According to analysis by research firm Cornwall Insight Solar PV captured prices were, on average, 8.4% and 14.9% below baseload levels in March and April, respectively, it said. and for wind, prices were 8.2% and 15.5% below baseload levels on average.

[18/05/2020 – Reuters] Coronavirus widens climate rift between European and U.S. oil majors

Europe’s top oil and gas companies have diverted a larger share of their cash to green energy projects since the coronavirus outbreak in a bet the global health crisis will leave a long-term dent in fossil fuel demand, according to a Reuters review of company statements and interviews with executives. The plans of companies like BP (BP.L), Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) and Total (TOTF.PA) are in step with the European Union’s efforts to transition to a lower-carbon economy and away from a century-old reliance on oil, and reflect the region’s widening rift with the United States where both the government and the top drillers are largely staying committed to oil and gas. Europe’s top five producers – BP, Shell, Total, Eni (ENI.MI), and Equinor (EQNR.OL) – are all focusing their investment cuts mainly on oil and gas activities, and giving their renewables and low carbon businesses a relative boost, according to Reuters calculations.

[18/05/2020 – abcNEWS] Mexico cites virus in slapping down renewable energy

The Mexican government has cited the coronavirus pandemic as a justification for new rules that will reduce the role of renewable energies like solar and wind power, granting a reprieve to the government’s own ageing, fossil-fuel power plants. “This represents a frontal attack on legal security for investments in Mexico, and causes serious consequences for the country, including the loss of jobs and investor confidence,” Mexico’s Business Coordinating Council wrote Sunday. The council cited $30 billion in affected investments, noting “this does not just discriminate against renewable energy, it also allows authorities to artificially inflate the price of electricity in the country and arbitrarily displace any private sector power generation project.”

[18/05/2020 – Reuters] Trump admin slaps solar, wind operators with retroactive rent bills

The Trump administration has ended a two-year rent holiday for solar and wind projects operating on federal lands, handing them whopping retroactive bills at a time the industry is struggling with the fallout of the coronavirus outbreak, according to company officials. The move represents a multi-million-dollar hit to an industry that has already seen installation projects canceled or delayed by the global health crisis, which has cut investment and dimmed the demand outlook for power. A budget document on the Interior Department’s web site shows it expects to collect $50 million in rent fees for wind and solar projects in 2020, up from $1.1 million in 2019 and $21.6 million in 2018.

[15/05/2020 – reNEWS]  COVID-19: Germany extends project delivery deadlines

The German parliament has amended the country’s renewable energy law to extend deadlines by six months for completing subsidised projects to help ensure the success of the energy transition during the Covid-19 pandemic. A six-month extension has also been granted for projects to comply with technical regulations for power generation plants that would otherwise have to go into operation by 30 June. Federal economics minister Peter Altmaier (pictured) said: “With the amendments to the law, we are ensuring that the corona pandemic does not lead to delays in the energy transition. “With the Planning Assurance Act, we ensure that important planning and approval procedures, such as in the expansion of the power grid, can be carried out quickly even during the corona pandemic. “With the legal changes in the field of renewable energies, we also ensure that the current restrictions and delays do not have a negative impact on market participants.”

[13/05/2020 – News24:fin24] Coronavirus: Mantashe issues guidelines for energy, petroleum sectors

The construction of renewable energy power plants and Eskom’s new build programme which includes power stations Medupi and Kusile, will officially be allowed during lockdown, according to guidelines issued by Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe. As per the directions, civil engineering for public works projects are allowed and apply to those under the renewable energy independent power producer programme, the Eskom new build programme and liquid petroleum gas projects, among others. Notably, all contracted suppliers, contractors and consultants who need to travel across borders to attend to projects, can now do so. Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter previously told Parliament that contractors required from abroad to assist in maintenance of some plants could not travel to South Africa due to the lockdown.

[13/05/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: BEIS proposes changes to CfD obligations

“The UK government is seeking views on a proposal to defer increases on electricity suppliers’ obligations under Contract for Difference rules because of the impact of the Covid-19 virus. BEIS said the consultation is looking for comment on plans to defer the “2021 quarter 1 part” of the increase that “would otherwise be collected by LCCC (Low Carbon Contracts Company) in July for the current second quarter of 2020”. Implementation of the proposal requires changes to the CfD Electricity Supplier Obligation Regulations 2014, BEIS said. The government said it had been been advised by LCCC that as a “result of lower electricity demand, resulting from measures introduced to reduce the spread of Covid-19, and higher payments to CfD generators because of lower wholesale electricity prices, electricity suppliers would have faced an unexpected increase in their obligations for the second quarter of 2020”. The government said that this is in response to the “truly exceptional circumstances” of COVID-19.”

[12/05/2020 – ETEnergyworld] Mineral production to soar as demand for clean energy increases: World Bank

A new World Bank Group report shows that production of minerals like graphite, lithium and cobalt could increase by nearly 500 per cent by 2050 to meet the growing demand for clean energy technologies. It estimates that over three billion tonnes of minerals and metals will be needed to deploy wind, solar and geothermal power as well as energy storage required for achieving a below two degrees celsius future. “”COVID-19 could represent an additional risk to sustainable mining, making the commitment of governments and companies to climate-smart practices more important than ever before,”” said Riccardo Puliti, World Bank Global Director for Energy and Extractive Industries and Regional Director for Infrastructure in Africa.

[12/05/2020 – reNEWS] German wind industry bullish despite COVID-19

A WindEnergy trend:index (WEtix) survey of 1,100 market players carried out between March and April this year revealed views of both the onshore and offshore wind industry that are more positive compared to those measured last November. “The wind industry can play a significant role in supporting the post-COVID-19 relaunch of the economy while lending credibility to the Chancellor’s ambitious climate protection goals,” said president of German wind association PWE Hermann.

[07/05/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: Beinn an Tuirc 3 construction resumes

ScottishPower Renewables has restarted construction of the 50MW Beinn an Tuirc 3 wind project after the Scottish government updated guidelines on essential construction work during the country’s COVID-19 lockdown. It had restarted work at the 14 turbine extension in South Kintyre in a phased manner yesterday with main construction work beginning from next week.

[06/05/2020 – ETEnergyworld] COVID-19: Renewable power generation remains unaffected amid lockdown, says report

Amid the COVID-19 lockdown, renewable power generation remained unaffected due to their ‘must-run’ status while electricity from thermal sources were impacted most due to a decline in power demand in March and April 2020, according to a recent report by Indian Ratings. It added that with the decrease in demand, electricity generation — excluding renewables — also decreased 8.8 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) to 97.7 billion units (BU) in March 2020 with thermal generation declining 11.1 per cent y-o-y.

[06/05/2020 – ETEnergyworld] COVID-19: Post-crisis clean energy progress will need reliable supplies of critical minerals, says IEA

The global clean energy sector would require a reliable supply of critical minerals to continue a smooth progress after the COVID-19 crisis, according to a recent study by the International Energy Agency (IEA). Clean energy technologies generally require more minerals than fossil fuel-based counterparts. An onshore wind plant requires eight times as much minerals as a gas-fired plant of the same capacity. As a result of the COVID-19 global lockdown, Peru’s copper-mining activities, which are responsible for 12 per cent of global production, ground to a halt. While, South Africa’s lockdown disrupted 75 per cent of the global output of platinum, a key material in many clean energy technologies and emissions control devices, although the country later allowed mines to operate at 50 per cent capacity, the study added.

[06/05/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: Wind is ‘key building block’ for economic recovery

The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and multinational players in the industry have published a statement highlighting how wind energy is central to economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19. The statement calls on governments, intergovernmental bodies, and global lending institutions, and suggests key actions policy makers can take to put wind energy investment at the centre of their economic recovery and growth plans.

[06/05/2020 – Public News Service] Pandemic Hits Iowa’s Wind Energy Industry Hard

According to one trade group, Iowa has more than 9,000 wind-energy jobs. According to a research firm, the United States lost more than 100,000 renewable-energy jobs in March, with more than 1,000 in Iowa. One of the state’s two U.S. senators, Republican Charles Grassley, is working with a bipartisan group of lawmakers to protect stalled projects from losing their federal tax-credit status. The lawmakers are urging the Treasury Department to extend provisions that would allow them to still qualify. Hensley said it’s frustrating to see any progress for clean energy hit a roadblock. He said 2020 was supposed to be a banner year for wind energy, but a lot has changed in recent weeks. Late last month, a wind-turbine manufacturing plant in Iowa was forced to close temporarily after at least two dozen workers tested positive for COVID-19.

[02/05/2020 – ETEnergyworld] Ensure uninterrupted electricity supply to consumers: PM Narendra Modi to power sector

Amid the coronavirus crisis, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday asked officials to work towards ensuring round-the-clock supply of power to all consumers. At a meeting to review the power sector and the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on it, he also discussed various long-term reforms for enhancing sustainability, resilience, and efficiency of the sector, an official release said to ET.

[29/04/2020 – Bloomberg Green] Nations Must Promote ‘Green Recovery’ From Virus, IMF Chief Says

“Taking measures now to fight the climate crisis is not just a ‘nice-to-have,’ it is a ‘must-have’ if we are to leave a better world for our children,” she said in prepared remarks to be delivered at the Petersberg Climate Dialogue Wednesday. The IMF’s fiscal affairs department recommends nations mandate commitments to reduce carbon emissions when they provide financial lifelines to companies that are carbon-intensive, adding that record-low oil prices make this an opportune time to phase out subsidies. and many more..

[29/04/2020 – WindPower Monthly] Europe’s green deal on hold while ‘the worst turbines are on the best sites’

WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson has argued for a massive expanse in the repowering of onshore wind farms as the only conceivable way of meeting the European Union’s goals for the power switch from fossil fuels to renewables.

[29/04/2020 – ETEnergyworld]  World has historic opportunity for green technology boost: IEA

Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), said support from governments could drive rapid growth in battery and hydrogen technology to help the world to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels. “I believe there is an opportunity – and I call it an historic opportunity here,” Birol, an economist who took the helm of the Paris-based IEA in 2015, told Reuters.”The big time is about to come, but they need a push,” he said, adding that the economic stimulus packages being delivered worldwide offer an ideal vehicle for change.

[29/04/2020 – AWEA] US Wind Industry Delivers Strong First Quarter

Despite uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, the U.S. wind industry experienced a strong start to the year, with the first three months of 2020 seeing record construction and power purchasing activity. The US wind industry installed over 1,800 MW of new wind power capacity in the first quarter, while the volume of projects under construction set a new record, according to the newly released Wind Powers America First Quarter Report 2020. The American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) report reveals that U.S. project developers installed more than double the amount of wind capacity in the first three months of 2020 than in the first quarter of 2019. Developers also started construction on 4,124 MW of wind power, bringing total construction activity to 24,690 MW.

[28/04/2020 – Business Line] In post-Covid-19 times, renewable energy to face stiff competition from fossil fuels

The lessons learnt by countries using significant amounts of renewable energy are important for India, which is set to announce a bailout package for the power sector shortly. Faced with the herculean task of restarting and reviving their economies, many major countries are going backwards on their promises to promote RE. Some energy-rich economies are even relaxing environmental restrictions. Coal mining and coal-power are getting renewed support in countries where it is a prominent source of energy or export revenue.

[28/04/2020 – reNEWS]  COVID-19: N Ireland relaxes planning rules

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon (pictured) said the pre-application community consultation step will be suspended for five months from 1 May due the pandemic. The measure will affect the submission of onshore wind projects in the province. Guidance is to be issued to applicants on alternatives and developers will still need to comply with other consenting requirements to ensure notification and feedback to locals affected by projects.

[28/04/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: Offshore wind ‘can be star of recovery’

The CDU politician, speaking ahead of a meeting with EU energy ministers, singled out the European Green Deal as playing a particularly important role. “It can become an important growth strategy if we specifically incentivise investments in new technologies and advance them in such a way that we increase our competitiveness and secure jobs,” he said. “I see great potential here, for example, in joint wind offshore projects between the EU member states, in the area of ​​hydrogen, and in investments in energy efficiency and renewable heat.” Germany will take the EU presidency for the second half of the year and Altmaier has made the growth of offshore wind a priority.

[27/04/2020 – reNEWS] Covid-19: RWE recognises first responders in the US

RWE Renewables has committed $250,000 to over 45 US organisations where the company is operating, constructing or developing assets to assist in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Donations cover 11 states and target organisations, such as first responders, regional and local food banks and food pantries, social services for senior citizens and local schools with student food programmes.
The company said it reached out to state and local officials across its footprint to identify community needs. RWE Renewables chief operating officer onshore wind and solar PV Americas Silvia Ortin (pictured) said: “We are grateful for the selfless dedication of first responders and healthcare professionals in the communities where RWE is working.

[25/04/2020 – WIRED] Covid-19 Is Pulling the Plug on Clean Energy Jobs

According to E2, a clean-energy advocacy group that commissioned the analysis, “clean energy” is a vast sector that employed nearly 3.4 million Americans in 2019. It includes more than 2 million jobs in energy efficiency, like weatherizing houses and manufacturing Energy Star appliances; half a million jobs in renewable energy, including solar, wind, hydropower, and geothermal; more than 250,000 jobs building hybrid and electric vehicles; about 150,000 jobs in power grid modernization and installing energy storage for the grid; and another 40,000 jobs in biofuels like ethanol and biomass. In total, clean-energy workers outnumbered fossil fuel workers three to one last year. “It’s a huge and important part of our economy,” E2 executive director Bob Keefe told Grist. “Anything that Congress does to get our economy back on its feet and to get America working again should absolutely include a focus on an industry of that size.”

[25/04/2020 – Business Standard] Covid pandemic could fuel fresh interest in diaspora bonds: World Bank

The coronavirus pandemic and its devastating economic impact on developing countries could fuel fresh interest in so-called diaspora bonds that allow migrants to support their countries of origin, experts from the World Bank and other groups say. Dilip Ratha, the World Bank’s lead economist on migration and remittances, told Reuters that diaspora bonds could generate about $50 billion a year in total for developing countries, potentially helping to offset a sharp drop in foreign direct investment that is slated to fall by 37 per cent this year.

[24/04/2020 – The Asian Development Bank] ADB Approves $1.5 Billion Financing to Support the Philippines’ COVID-19 Response

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $1.5 billion loan to help the Philippine government fund its novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response program and strengthen the country’s health care system in its fight against the pandemic. “This assistance is our largest budget support loan to the Philippines ever and reflects our strong commitment to providing cornerstone assistance swiftly and effectively to help the country mitigate the pandemic’s devastating impact on Filipinos, particularly the poor and vulnerable, including women,” said ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa.

[24/04/2020 – UtilityDrive] Bipartisan senators ask Mnuchin to extend safe harbor deadlines for renewables projects

A group of bipartisan senators asked the Department of Treasury to extend safe harbor deadlines to ensure renewable energy developers are able to secure the tax credits they need to finance their projects. In order to qualify for the production tax credit (PTC) or the investment tax credit (ITC), project developers have to meet certain construction deadlines, but many in the industry are seeing lengthy project delays as a result of supply chain disruptions, workforce shortages and other COVID-19-related setbacks. Renewables advocates have been asking Congress to extend these provisions for weeks, citing the loss of potentially billions of dollars in investments if these projects are not able to proceed.

[24/04/2020 – Recharge] Global energy ministers plan green rebound from coronavirus – without China and US

Energy ministers from some of the world’s largest economies on Friday linked for an unprecedented global summit over how to put renewables at the centre of post-coronavirus recovery plans. Danish climate & energy minister Dan Jørgensen claimed after the meeting that the “contours of a green coalition” had emerged from the 23-strong videoconference. The global clean energy sector is pushing hard for massive economic revival plans being drawn up by governments to focus on a ‘green stimulus’ that turns the damage done by the pandemic into an opportunity to make progress in the climate fight – rather than throwing recovery cash at fossil and other ‘dying’ industries.

[23/04/2020 – reNEWS] EU recovery ‘must be green’

The EU Environment Committee said the bloc must “remain firm” on climate change and the timetable for the Climate Law, despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The European Parliament Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety made the point during a debate on the Green Deal and pending law with European Commission executive vice-president Frans Timmermans. Recently Parliament called on the Commission to propose a recovery and reconstruction package that “should have at its core the Green Deal and the digital transformation in order to kick start the economy”.

[23/04/2020 – European Bank for Reconstruction and Development] EBRD launches Vital Infrastructure Support Programme

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has launched an emergency support programme for infrastructure providers across its emerging economies to ensure the provision of vital services despite acute pressure from the coronavirus pandemic. Part of its overall Solidarity Package response to Covid-19, will focus on both ensuring service provision immediately and protecting progress in its regions towards the provision of green, sustainable infrastructure. The VISP initiative contains three financing tools: Working capital lines to municipalities and utilities, Stabilisation facilities for key infrastructure providers, Investment financing for public sector clients.

[23/04/2020 – NYSERDA] NYSERDA Offshore Wind 2020 Solicitation Update

COVID-19 crisis has acutely affected New York’s clean energy industry from a human resource, project development, and financial perspective. Today, in response to a Petition filed by NYSERDA in January 2020, the New York State Public Service Commission granted authority for NYSERDA to issue a 2020 solicitation for at least 1,000 megawatts of offshore wind. While NYSERDA fully supports and is poised to execute on this authorization, given the current circumstances, it feels issuing a near-term solicitation would not be responsible nor advisable.

[23/04/2020 – reNEWS] Merchant projects to bear brunt of power price dip

According to a new study from Aurora Energy Research report: ‘The impact of COVID-19 on European power markets’, found revenues in the 2020-2021 period for renewable energy power plants are expected to fall 30-50% across several markets. The analysis covers markets including France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Spain and Italy. Already day-ahead power prices have fallen by 30-40% in many EU countries, since the COVID-19 lockdown began. Wind, solar backed by FiTs or CfDs will be protected from coronavirus-related reduction in rates.

[23/04/2020 – ETEnergyworld] COVID-19: Power ministry asks states to allow construction activities in power plants, smooth functioning of transmission network

As per an order from the Ministry of Home Affairs, select activities have been allowed with effect from 20 April, 2020 during the nation-wide lockdown.
“Construction of all kinds of industrial projects in rural areas, that is outside the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities have been allowed to be carried out with effect from 20th April, 2020. This is also applicable for ongoing construction activities in thermal and hydro power generation projects outside the limits of urban local bodies,” the ministry said. It has also asked for allowing intrastate and interstate movement of construction material, equipment, spares, consumables etc for under construction power projects. The ministry has written to states to ensure smooth operation of transmission network and also to allow laying and erection of transmission lines.

[22/04/2020 – ETEnergyworld] Covid-19: 150 GW renewable energy projects at risk in Asia Pacific

If the coronavirus outbreak evolves into a financial crisis and recession extends beyond 2020, funding may be harder to secure, leading to reduced competitiveness of renewables and up to 150 GW of wind and solar power projects across the Asia Pacific could be delayed or cancelled over the next five years (2020–24). This is equivalent to pushing back the Asia Pacific renewables construction pipeline by nearly two years, according to research and consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie. It was added that the coming months will be crucial to determine if the region is moving towards a rapid recovery or extended recession future. “Key indicators to monitor include power demand growth, credit terms for renewables projects, cost competition between renewables and fossil fuels and government support including stimulus for renewables markets.”

[21/04/2020 – IOL] Virus leaves South Africa’s green energy plans in disarray

Economic growth and energy demand are likely to remain muted for several years, casting doubts over when additional plants will be needed. Eskom, which was previously forced to implement rolling blackouts because its aging plants couldn’t deliver sufficient output, has already declared force majeure with wind-energy producers because it doesn’t need their output. And the government which pledged as recently as February to seek new bids from renewable suppliers has gone to ground on when that will happen. Eskom’s decision to renege on its contracts “really undermines the confidence and the trust that investors have” in the government’s commitment to source additional renewable energy, said, the country’s biggest specialist bond fund manager.

[21/04/2020 – Recharge] Covid-19 could cut global wind production capacity by 20% this year: WoodMac

Global wind power production capacity could be cut by up to a fifth this year as a result of Covid-19 restrictions, with ongoing measures set to make a return to earlier levels tricky, said analysts at Wood Mackenzie. Action taken by companies and ordered by governments as coronavirus sweeps around the world will reduce the industry’s total capacity by 15-20% in 2020. Wood Mackenzie identified blades as a main component facing particular challenges, with both manufacturing and raw material supplies under pressure.

[21/04/2020 – Press Information] MNRE Grants Blanket Extension for RE Projects amid Lockdown

With an aim to provide relief to renewable energy (RE) stakeholders amid lockdown due to Covid-19, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has granted an extension of time for RE projects equivalent to the period of lockdown plus 30 days additional blanket extension-there will be no requirement of case to case examination. And said that Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) will treat lockdown due to COVID-19, as Force Majeure .

[20/04/2020 – The Guardian] Green energy could drive Covid-19 recovery with $100tn boost

The International Renewable Energy Agency found that accelerating investment in renewable energy could generate huge economic benefits while helping to tackle the global climate emergency. Investing in renewable energy would deliver global GDP gains of $98tn above a business-as-usual scenario by 2050 by returning between $3 and $8 on every dollar invested. It would also quadruple the number of jobs in the sector to 42m over the next 30 years, and measurably improve global health and welfare scores, according to the report. The report also found that renewable energy could curb the rise in global temperatures by helping to reduce the energy industry’s carbon dioxide emissions by 70% by 2050 by replacing fossil fuels.

[20/04/2020 – ETEnergyworld ] Renewable energy companies unlikely to restart construction post April 20

Construction of renewable energy projects is among the activities that the ministry of home affairs has permitted resumption of from April 20, but developers maintained it will be a while before they can do so. Whether or not sufficient labour will return to the site is the biggest concern. There is a possibility of various layers of authorities entering the picture and attempting to interpret the guidelines, according to the developer. Activity may begin on those projects that are already close to commissioning. If a project is 80% done, it makes sense to get it across the line. If it hasn’t started, then it is more debatable as per a developer.

[20/04/2020 – Saur Energy International] COVID-19 Halts up to 3 GW of Wind, Solar Projects in Australia

The global COVID-19 pandemic has hit the renewables industry hard in Australia, postponing or cancelling the financial close of up to 3 gigawatts (GW) of projects according to a new assessment from Norwegian consultancy Rystad Energy. While Tilt and Goldwind will be most impacted in the utility wind segment. At the beginning of 2020, Rystad Energy expected that 2 to 3 GW worth of renewable projects would achieve Financial Close and begin construction this year, including 1.1 GW of wind and 1 to 2 GW of PV. At present, 530 MW of PV capacity and 210 MW of wind capacity has taken a financial close and has either already begun construction or will do so in 2020. The impact of COVID-19 on project economics will likely delay or cancel the financial close of the remaining projects.

[20/04/2020 – Puget Sound Business Journal] Opinion: Distressed supply chains uniquely impact renewable energy

As the global pandemic has affected manufacturing centers in India, Europe and the United States, as well as raw-materials centers in South America, while most American industries are impacted by supply chain disruptions, renewable energy development is uniquely impacted by delays this fiscal quarter. Many wind facilities must achieve placement in service (generally, operational readiness) this year to qualify for the maximum rate of the U.S. federal production tax credit without meeting onerous requirements to demonstrate that “continuous” efforts have been made to complete the facility. Internal Revenue Service guidance allaying timing concerns is urgently needed by the solar and wind industries, but to date there have been few whispers about this getting done in Washington, D.C. While it would be helpful to have guidance now, reassurance as late as May 31 would probably be sufficient to allay the worst fears of tax equity investors. There may also be a need for legislative action to ensure continued investments in this sector. The next looming issue is whether recent financial market events linked to the COVID-19 pandemic will dampen tax equity appetite, which was already expected to begin waning in the next couple of years.

[17/04/2020 – The Guardian] Coronavirus profiteers’ condemned as polluters gain bailout billions

Polluting industries around the world are using the coronavirus pandemic to gain billions of dollars in bailouts and to weaken and delay environmental protections. Economic and energy leaders say the unprecedented sums of money being committed to the global recovery are a historic opportunity to tackle the climate crisis and create a safer, more resilient, world. Ben Backwell, CEO at the Global Wind Energy Council, said some governments had extended commissioning deadlines for new wind farms, including those of India, Germany and Greece. “But so far no government has explicitly included stimulus packages specific to the wind and other renewable sectors. Much diplomatic effort went into brokering the OPEC+ deal to stabilise oil prices but the discussion needs to move on now to ensuring that renewable energy is at the centre of economic recovery plans.”

[17/04/2020 – REnews] COVID-19: UK wind farms could be ‘switched off’

National Grid has warned that it could ask UK power plants, including some wind farms, to switch off in order to avoid the network being overwhelmed with electricity as the Covid-19 pandemic hits demand. The UK network operator said there has been a 10% drop in power demand in recent weeks and this could rise to as much as 20% in the summer if the impact of the coronavirus continues.

[17/04/2020 – Recharge] Russian wind sector ‘damaged by quarantine’ without compensation

Russia’s nascent wind industry “was damaged by quarantine, declared mandatory days off without cost compensation and blockade of transport routes,” Igor Bryzgunov, president of the Russian wind industry federation (RAWI), told Recharge. Industry experts from local market players such as Rusnano, Vestas, or Windparks FRW, Bryzgunov said as a consequence of Russian measures to fight the coronavirus there may be a delay in the commissioning of wind farms under construction, and possibly equipment supplies. It is necessary to contact the market regulator with a request to give the opportunity to delay the commissioning of wind farms under construction without imposing fines and sanctions. Many non-Russians supervising turbine installation work simply could not come to the facilities as borders are closed. As the wider European wind sector may face losses, supply disruptions, price increases, and job losses, Russian market players may also have to fire hundreds of people, as per RAWI.

[16/04/2020 – The Economic Times] Coronavirus impact: Wheels turn to wean away factories from China

The Indian government held high-level meetings to set in motion a strategy to wean away manufacturing from China and fast-tracking efforts by tapping into palpable global anger against the Far East nation amid the Covid-19 outbreak. Countries such as Japan are already looking to diversify their manufacturing and supply chains to newer destination. Government is working to try and establish India as an alternate to China for manufacturing for local and global markets across sectors to spur employment, revenue and earn forex by making India an export hub. The Japanese government announced that it has earmarked $2.2 billion of its record economic stimulus package to help its manufacturers shift production out of China as the coronavirus disrupts supply chains between the major trading partners.

[15/04/2020 – ETEnergyworld] COVID-19: Govt allows construction of renewable energy projects in revised guidelines

The Ministry of Home Affairs has allowed the construction of renewable energy projects in its revised guidelines regarding lockdown measures to be taken by ministries and departments in a bid to contain the COVID-19 epidemic in the country. The guidelines were revised following the government’s decision to extend the lockdown period till 3 May, 2020.

[15/04/2020 – RenewableEnergy World] Clean energy job losses mount as COVID-19’s economic toll continues

The analysis of Department of Labor data found that 106,472 workers in clean energy occupations filed for unemployment benefits last month, wiping out all 2019 clean energy job gains across renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean vehicles, energy storage and clean fuels. These include electricians, HVAC and mechanical trades technicians and construction workers who work in energy efficiency; solar installers; wind industry engineers and technicians; and manufacturing workers employed by electric and other clean- vehicle manufacturing companies and suppliers. This is according to a new analysis of unemployment data released by E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs), the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), E4TheFuture and BW Research Partnership.

[15/04/2020 – ClimateHome News] Renewable energies under threat in 2020 from coronavirus, oil price slump

The International Energy Agency (IEA) said it is reviewing its October 2019 forecasts that 2020 will be a record year for additions of electricity generation capacity for solar, wind and other clean energies, as well as that total renewable-based power capacity will surge by 50% between 2019 and 2024. “There’s a chance that 2020 may not be a record,” said Heymi Bahar, IEA senior analyst of renewable energy markets and policy, told Climate Home News. “Every day we see something either about a new lockdown, or a resuming of some construction activity.”

[14/04/2020 – ETEnergyworld] COVID-19: MNRE to promote local manufacturing, export hubs for renewable energy

In a bid to minimise the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the heavily import-dependent domestic solar industry, “The ministry would provide full support to companies planning to expand or set-up bases in India for manufacturing and export of services in the renewable energy sector. All states and ports are requested to identify land parcels of 50-500 acres for setting up renewable energy manufacturing and export services hub,” said Anand Kumar, secretary, MNRE, in a twitter post recently.

[14/04/2020 – CNN] India’s Modi extends nationwide coronavirus lockdown until May 3

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended the country’s nationwide lockdown until May 3 in a bid to contain the continued spread of the coronavirus, but said that some states which have avoided outbreaks may be allowed to resume “important activities.”

[13/04/2020 – ETEnergyworld] India’s wind installation for 2020 likely to fall drastically

“BloombergNEF has lowered its expectation of how much wind energy capacity India will add in 2020 to 1.95GW from an earlier forecast of 2.56GW. BNEF cut down by 24% due to the 21-day nationwide lockdown and there is a further downside risk to its current forecast if the lockdown extends beyond April 14. It said “”almost all wind turbine makers and their part suppliers in India have shut their factories due to the lockdown.”””

[09/04/2020 – The World Bank] For Sub-Saharan Africa, Coronavirus Crisis Calls for Policies for Greater Resilience

According to a new World Bank regional economic analysis, economies in Sub-Saharan Africa could lose between $37 billion and $79 billion in output losses in 2020 due to COVID-19. The region could face a severe food security crisis, with agricultural production expected to contract between 2.6% and 7%. The report recommends a fiscal-policy approach with two primary objectives – to save lives and protect livelihoods and encourages African policymakers to think about the exit strategy from COVID-19.

[09/04/2020 – Recharge] UK moves to keep CfD Round 4 auction on track despite Covid-19 impact

Department for business, energy & industrial strategy responds to industry ‘stressing importance of maintaining delivery’ of renewables auction in 2021. The government is running a consultation round ahead of CfD4 which it says will close as planned on 22 May.

[08/04/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: Irish regulator may lift downtime penalties

Irish energy regulator CRU has signalled it may relax penalties for wind farm and other generators if projects have difficulty maintaining operations i.e. projects that face downtime over the inability of overseas suppliers, such as turbine manufacturers, to undertake maintenance or outage work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Officials are also open to supporting generators that fail to meet grid code compliance while movement is restricted. Consideration would include “the issue of penalties”, the CRU said in a guidance documents for the electricity industry.

[08/04/2020 – RenewablesNow] US reduces 2020 wind, solar installations forecast

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Tuesday trimmed its forecast for wind and solar capacity additions this year because of the coronavirus outbreak and the resulting economic slowdown. The agency now expects the US to install 19.4 GW of wind and 12.6 GW of utility-scale solar capacity in 2020, down by 5% and 10%, respectively, from its previous Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO). Renewables will remain the fastest-growing source of electricity generation for the year. EIA also expects a 3% decrease in electric power sector generation in the US. The output of coal-fired power plants is seen to drop by 20% from 2019, while renewable power and natural gas power will increase by 11% and 1%, respectively.

[08/04/2020 – reNEWS] New wind farm financing in Europe to face delays in 2020

Investment in new wind power projects in Europe fell almost 25 per cent to 19 billion euros ($20.7 billion) in 2019 compared to a year earlier and projects are likely to face financing delays this year, as per industry group WindEurope.
Its report said “Wind energy projects make an attractive investment and in the long-term there should be plenty of capital available to finance them,” and
“In the short-term, the global economic situation resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic is uncertain and delays to the financing of new farms are inevitable,”. Three-month delay in wind farm construction and project financing could mean new investment in the industry in 2020 would be around the same level as 2019.

[07/04/2020 – gtm] Coronavirus Unnerves US Wind Market During Record Year for Construction

Every industry has been affected by the outbreak and its economic shock. The special problem for the American renewables market is its attachment to the wind and solar tax credits, which come with project deadlines. Developers that qualified wind projects for the full federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) back in 2016 are supposed to finish construction this year. As a result, the market was expected to notch record installations in 2020 — perhaps 15 gigawatts or more, up from around 9 gigawatts last year — straining the supply chain to its limits as hard-hatted laborers swing cranes across the Central Plains. More than 20 gigawatts’ worth of wind farms are under construction across the U.S., according to the American Wind Energy Association, including 6 gigawatts in Texas alone — many with contracts to sell clean power to corporations such as Facebook, McDonald’s and ExxonMobil.

[07/04/2020 – ETEnergyworld] OPINION: Renewable energy wins over oil and gas in post-coronavirus world: Russell

The coronavirus is likely to change the market dynamics of the various types of energy, and mostly in favour of renewables such as wind, solar and hydropower. The biggest costs for utility scale wind, solar and battery storage projects are the upfront capital, given that once these projects are operating costs tend to be minimal.

[07/04/2020 – BusinessJournal] COVID-19 threatens tax credits for billions in sun, wind energy projects

Tax credits for development of wind and solar energy projects are time sensitive, and delays due to COVID-19 are threatening them. Kansas wind energy projects, as well as their solar counterparts, are at risk for losing their tax credits because of COVID-19 construction delays.

[07/04/2020 – ReNews] COVID-19: Crisis slows corporate PPA market

According to industry participants who took part in a series of webinars organised by European law firm, Fieldfisher, highlighted that both developers and corporates would be hesitant to commit to deals in the current circumstances. Fieldfisher partner Lis Blunsdon, said: “On the developer and financing side, there is reluctance to sign CPPAs while energy prices are at current levels, so most discussions have been postponed until there is a clearer view of when and to what extent industry will start up again.”

[06/04/2020 – Austrian Wind Energy Association] Wind power expansion slowed down by Corona

In the course of the resolution of the 4th COVID-19 law (403 / A), the green electricity law was changed in one point. This was necessary because there will be delays in green power plants that are currently being implemented. Wind power projects whose construction period ends between March 16, 2020 and March 16, 2021 are given six months more time to build the wind turbines.

[06/04/2020 – MercomIndia] DISCOMs’ Claim of Force Majeure For Curtailing & Not Paying for Renewables, Null and Void

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has reiterated that the “must-run” status of renewable energy projects remains unchanged during the COVID-19 lockdown period and curtailment or renewables other than for grid safety reasons would amount to deemed generation. Deemed generation means the energy which a generating station was capable of generating but could not generate due to various reasons (curtailment in this case). So, if the DISCOMs curtail power for reasons other than grid security, they will still have to pay for the scheduled capacity of that renewable energy project under the deemed generation clause.

[06/04/2020 – ReNews] COVID-19: Petrofac to slash spending

Petrofac, which has been named as the preferred substation supplier for the 1075MW Seagreen offshore wind farm off Scotland, is reducing capex by 40% and suspending its planned final dividend for 2019. The firm said it would be reducing overhead and project support costs by at least US$100m in 2020 and by up to US$200 million in 2021 in an update on its response to Covid-19.

[06/04/2020 – ReNews] COVID-19: Fugro withdraws 2020 guidance

Fugro has withdrawn its business outlook for 2020 in the face of severe COVID-19 challenges. In a statement it said some projects cannot be executed as originally planned due to increasing travel restrictions and country lockdowns, which are impacting the business, particularly in the Europe-Africa region. Offshore wind is anticipated to show continued growth, though somewhat less than assumed at the start of this year.

[06/04/2020 – MercomIndia] MNRE Addresses Invoicing Issues Faced by Renewable Generators Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

The Ministry has now issued guidelines for billing and invoicing for solar, wind, hybrid, small hydro, waste-to-energy, biomass power generating stations. For Regional Energy Accounts (REA), State Energy Accounts (SEA), and billing through Joint Meter Readings (JMR), it declared that invoices are to be issued over e-mail. It noted that due dates are to be calculated as per the terms of the power purchase agreements (PPAs) between the involved parties and waived off hard copy submissions.

[06/04/2020 – MercomIndia]  Punjab Announces Curtailment of Renewable Power Until Coronavirus Outbreak Subsides

The corporation has instructed the renewable generators to discontinue their generating facilities immediately from the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) and PSTCL systems until the COVID-19 epidemic lasts. The state agencies are citing the force majeure clause under their power purchase agreements (PPAs) signed between the renewable generators and PSPCL.

[03/04/2020 – ANADOLU AGENCY] COVID-19: Spain’s lockdown to be extended till April 25

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced on Saturday that the country will continue with its strict lockdown measures until at least April 25. “Once the curve is clearly descending, we will open a second phase — a progressive return to new social normality and the reconstruction of our economy,” said PM Sanchez.

[03/04/2020 – CleanTechnica] Virus Or Not, US States Foment 100% Renewable Energy Rebellion

If fossil fuel stakeholders hoped for the COVID-19 crisis to give them a little breathing room, they may have to do some re-hoping. The US Energy Department dropped yet another one of its renewable energy truth bombs earlier this week, and now a coalition of economically powerful US states has followed up with a new initiative aimed at accelerating 100% clean energy goals across the country. That’s not just a state-level thing, either. The new initiative aims at municipalities, corporations, utilities, and other stakeholders, too.

[03/04/2020 – ReNews] COVID-19: Industry urged to back UK renewables events

UK renewables trade groups have called on the clean power sector to support industry events that have been postponed until later in the year because of the coronavirus. The statement said that “Please prioritise events run by your member associations which are designed by the industry for the industry” and this will allow the groups to “reinvest directly in the future success of the energy sector, including our work with government to ensure the right policies are in place for the industry to continue to grow”.

[02/04/2020 – ReNews] COVID-19: French offshore powwow rescheduled

This year’s edition of Seanergy, an international forum dedicated to offshore wind and marine renewable energy, was initially scheduled for 9-12 June 2020 in France. The organiser of an international offshore wind forum taking place in France has postponed the event due to the coronavirus pandemic.

[02/04/2020 – offshoreWIND] Iberdrola to Speed Up Investments and Projects

When it comes to the COVID-19 situation, Iberdrola has put in place an integrated plan which includes 107 measures to contain the spread of the pandemic and assure the supply of electricity to citizens. During Iberdrola’s Annual General Meeting, the company’s chairman Ignacio Galán said the speeding up of the investments and projects will contribute to economic activity and prevent loss of jobs, referring to the current global situation with the COVID-19 pandemic. This will lead to some 4.5 GW of new capacity currently under construction to be commissioned this year.

[02/04/2020 – ReNews] COVID-19: Wind operators oppose Eskom curtailment

Since then Eskom has proposed curtailing wind farms, claiming ‘Force Majeure’. And the government issued an official notice on 25 March 2020 classifying electricity production, supply and maintenance as essential services. “The industry will be approaching Eskom with a view to finding a constructive resolution that does not prejudice the country nor the power producers.”

[02/04/2020 – MercomIndia] MNRE Orders Timely Payment and ‘Must-Run’ Status to Renewable Stations During Lockdown

Following the ministry’s announcement of providing a moratorium period to the DISCOMs, several representatives from the renewable energy industry expressed their disappointment and alleged that certain state DISCOMs, citing the MoP’s order, have started to curtail the renewable power in some states partially while others termed the prevailing situation as force majeure condition. In the clarification notice, the MNRE has granted a ‘must-run’ status to renewable energy generating stations and this status will remain unchanged throughout the lockdown period.

[01/04/2020 – BusinessStandard] Covid-19 lockdown: States stop renewable power purchase, hold back payments

Following the lockdown and fall in electricity demand, several states are now curtailing renewable power purchases and have also issued notices on non-payment to generators. These states have invoked Force Majeure clause in their power purchase agreements (PPA) with renewable projects to nix power supply and payment.

[01/04/2020 – Bloomberg NEF] Covid-19 Wreaks Havoc on the Wind Industry 

AS per BNEF, COVID-19 impact is greatest in busy markets in Europe and the U.S., where delays put even more strain on tight construction schedules. It predicts much of this capacity will roll over into 2021, meaning global installations surpass 70GW for the first time. In countries hit hardest by the virus, we assume a two- to three-month project execution delay. Offshore forecast remains unchanged.

[01/04/2020 – HWEA]  Extensions of deadlines due to the COVID-19 crisis

The Hellenic Government has adopted a Legislative Act (OGJ A’75/30.3.2020). Installation Licenses and binding Grid Connection Offers are extended by 4 months 2. The deadlines for connecting projects which have been selected through auctions are extended by 6 months.

[01/04/2020 – Axios] Renewable energy industry eyes next coronavirus stimulus bill

The renewable energy sector is pressing for the “phase 4” coronavirus response bill to provide the aid that was omitted from the recent $2 trillion rescue package — and they might have a wider opening this time around.

[31/03/2020 – ReNews] Vattenfall pulls out of 700MW Dutch offshore wind tender

“Uncertainty over the impact of COVID-19 in Netherlands, the Swedish developer, seen as among the favourites in the auction that opens on 2 April, said it was unwilling to bid due to lower power prices and potential issues in the supply chain as a result of the pandemic and its focus is now on its existing projects. “

[31/03/2020 – ReNews] COVID-19: Germany ‘must not forget climate protection’

Bundesverband der Energie- und Wasserwirtschaft (BDEW) chief executive expressed concern that climate protection and COVID-19 should not be “played off against each other”. Especially against the background of the emerging economic crisis, it must be ensured that investments continue to be made in the expansion of renewable energies and that they can guarantee the energy supply of tomorrow.

[31/03/2020 – Bloomberg] U.K. Offshore Wind Farms Weigh Force Majeure as Virus Spreads

Developers of wind farms off the coast of the U.K. have notified the government that they may declare force majeure to halt contracts as the lockdowns associated with the coronavirus wreak havoc on their global supply chain and keep workers away from job sites.

[31/03/2020 – Bloomberg] Eskom Issues ‘Force Majeure’ to Wind Plants Amid Low Demand

Amid Low power Demand, the amount of power generated from wind is at its highest early in the morning when Eskom’s need is lowest i.e. it has issued some force majeures to the wind generators. Generators will be compensated by having their contracts extended by the amount of time lost as per Eskom.

[31/03/2020 – The Strait Times] EU presses on with tighter 2030 climate target despite Covid-19 pandemic

The European Union executive kick-started its plan to set a tougher 2030 emissions target on Tuesday (March 31), a move that could help maintain the bloc’s focus on climate change despite pressure to soften its green ambitions in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

[31/03/2020 – Recharge] European industry groups call to ‘link’ Green Deal and Covid-19 recovery plans

Over 30 energy industry bodies have made the case to EU political leaders to build the European Green Deal into the economic stimulus strategy currently being devised to counter the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

[30/03/2020 – WindPower Monthly] Brazil delays power tenders

Brazil was due to hold two rounds in April and September pitting new wind developments against hydroelectric, solar PV and biomass projects, as part of the biannual tenders unveiled in March 2019.

[27/3/2020 – Rystad Energy] COVID-19 set to wipe out global solar and wind project growth for 2020, cut by a further 10% next year

Rystad Energy analysis shows that forecast growth in newly commissioned solar and wind projects will now be cut by a further 10% next year as the US dollar surges and currencies fall across the globe. We expect these movements in the foreign exchange market to cause companies to pause contracting key components, which are typically procured in US dollars. Renewable projects in Australia, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa will be especially impacted, as projects in the procurement phase could face capital cost increases of up to 36% due to the rapid depreciation of local currencies in these countries.

[27/03/2020 – Recharge] EU leaders back Covid-19 recovery strategy that ‘integrates energy transition’

Europe’s Green Deal and wider energy transition strategy should be dovetailed with efforts to limit the socio-economic impact of the ongoing coronovirus pandemic, EU leaders have said.

[26/3/2030 – Bloomberg] Liebreich: Covid-19 – The Low-Carbon Crisis

“The pandemic will make clean energy deals “”exponentially harder”” as the crisis period is prolonged, and will have significant impacts to the supply chain. Any “”green stimulus”” package may not take priority over keeping the public safe, fed, housed and employed. “

[15/03/2020 – Recharge] Coronavirus crisis an ‘excellent opportunity’ to speed global energy transition: Birol

The Coronavirus economic stimulus packages being drawn up by governments around the world should build-in “large scale” spending on clean energy technologies including wind, solar, green hydrogen and carbon capture and storage (CCS), says Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA).

[10/03/2020 – Recharge] Coronavirus-led demand slump could hit oil & gas giants’ clean energy plans: IEA

Global oil markets are facing severe downward pressure as the impact of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) spreads around the world, which the International Energy Agency (IEA) said raises concerns about whether companies will honour their pledges to transition to clean energy.

Wind energy has gone from a niche to a mainstream energy source in the past four decades. Europe used to be the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturing base, however, to accommodate wind market growth outside of Europe, local supply chains have been established in North America, Asia, Latin America and mostly recently in Africa. As of today, wind industry has become a truly global business with the turbine nacelle, components and materials produced all around the world.

However, the world, and the global wind supply chain with it, has been hit hard by the COVID-19 virus, first in China, then the rest of world. Although China managed to get the virus under control within two months, disruption has already been seen to the flow of supply chain. In fact full production is not yet resumed by the end of March, as some key components and materials are heavily relying on imports from other regions. At present, Europe, North America and India, the major manufacturing hubs for the global wind industry, are still in the middle of the crisis. Although most wind-related manufacturing remains in operation, the production at some turbine assemblies and component production facilities, for example in Spain, Italy, the UK and India, have been temporarily suspended to stem the spread of coronavirus.

As disruption to the supply chain is likely to trigger a domino effect for global wind turbine production, GWEC Market Intelligence is monitoring the global supply chain situation closely and will provide the latest status of global wind supply chain in this section. 

 

Supply Chain Updates

[27/05/2020 – reNEWS] SSE urges UK to target 75GW offshore by 2050

SSE said the UK should target 40GW of offshore wind by 2030 and 75GW by 2050 as part of a ‘green’ economic strategy for the country to recover from the impact of Covid-19. The offshore wind goal was outlined in the company’s ‘Greenprint for building a cleaner, more resilient economy’, which is a five-point action plan submitted to the UK government. SSE said the success of the Contract for Difference regime should be built on to attract more low-carbon investment in new and repowered renewables, life extensions to projects and energy storage. The Greenprint also calls for five carbon capture and storage plus hydrogen power clusters by 2030, as well as investment in transmission.

[26/05/2020 – reNEWS] Manor Renewable Energy designs COVID-19 compliant vessel

UK-based Manor Renewable Energy (MRE) has been working on the challenge of social distancing throughout its fleet of vessels. Currently under construction, the Manor Endurance, was originally designed to transport 24 passengers; however, to meet new social distancing requirements, the design has been amended. The updated vessel design allows 12 offshore technicians to be transported safely with the inclusion of two-metre social distancing.

[22/05/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: UK wind farms could face weekend ‘switch-off’

Over the upcoming Bank Holiday weekend because of Covid-19 electricity demand is expected to get lower in the UK and could see several distributed-connected wind farm operators paid to cut output in order to manage the grid. As per National Grid ESO, small-scale renewable generators with over 2.4GW of capacity – including 1.5GW of wind power – have so far joined a new scheme called the Optional Downward Flexibility Management (ODFM) service.

[20/05/2020 – Wind Action] Suncor suspends its wind project in Forty Mile due to Covid

“Suncor released a revised 2020 corporate guidance for capital operating costs and production outlook on March 23, reflecting significant declines in crude oil prices and uncertainty surrounding the economic impact of COVID-19,” said Todd Andersen on behalf of Forty Mile Granlea Wind Limited Partnership. It had aimed to commission the 205MW first phase in 2021, now Suncor is expected to resume construction in 2021 and the commercial operation date of phase one will shift by one year to December 2022.

[20/05/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: Wind safety training activity resumes

Certified wind training providers are starting to open their doors again. According to a survey conducted by safety training standards body Global Wind Organisation (GWO), around six in 10 GWO-certified training providers expect to have reopened their doors by the end of this week.

[20/05/2020 – ETEnergyworld] Siemens stays positive on India despite virus eating into orders

In a note on as per Spark Capital, it had a “structurally positive outlook” on Siemens India in its gas and power segment. Though muted spending in the domestic transmission market was a concern, growth from the industrial steam turbine segment should partially aid growth, the brokerage said. Spark Capital also sees growth in the company’s digital industries, smart infrastructure and mobility segment.

[18/05/2020 – TheHill] Analysis: 1.3M energy jobs lost since pandemic’s start

The analysis, published Monday by BW Research, found that 958,500 energy jobs were lost just last month. It determined that 306,500 of the jobs lost in April were in the areas of fuels, electricity generation or transmission distribution and storage. A total of 312,000 of the job losses came from energy efficiency jobs, while the motor vehicle industry lost 340,000 jobs. A prior analysis by BW Research had found that, of the jobs that had been lost since the pandemic began, 600,000 of them were in clean energy. The report also predicted that energy sector job losses will peak at 1.75 million.

[15/05/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: Petrofac experiences ‘significant disruption’

“Petrofac has experienced “significant disruption” to its engineering and construction (E&C) business because of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and “stringent health protocols, supply chain disruption, travel restrictions and government-enforced lockdowns”. Projects are still progressing, but there are material delays in construction activity that will not be recovered in 2020, Petrofac added. Training centres have been temporarily closed. The company is active in offshore wind, including as substation supplier for the 1075MW Seagreen offshore wind farm off Scotland, but said the remarks are a broad sector outlook and not project specific. However, it is “prudently anticipating that the majority of 2020 tenders will be delayed until 2021“.”

[14/05/2020 – Bloomberg Law] April Sees Double the Clean Energy Job Losses Versus Prior Month

U.S. clean energy industry is struggling, as the sector saw job losses double and total layoffs climb to 600,000 jobs thus far this year, according to an industry analysis released Wednesday. In April alone, 447,208 clean energy workers filed new unemployment claims, according to the analysis of federal labor data conducted by clean energy advocacy groups. Those groups include E2 and the American Council on Renewable Energy. The lost jobs, stemming from a combination of social distancing efforts, declining investor confidence, and slowing demand due to the overall declines in the U.S. economy, could approach 850,000 by June, according to the report, authored by BW Research Partnership.

[13/05/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: UK energy training centres reopen

Training centres for wind and other energy sector workers, owned by 3T Energy Group, have reopened after enforced closure due to coronavirus. The AIS Training facility in Newcastle upon Tyne and Survivex centre in Aberdeen are operating at 20% capacity to ensure social distancing measures can be maintained.

[12/05/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: Boreas examination extended to October

The examination period for Vattenfall’s 1800MW Norfolk Boreas offshore wind farm off the east coast of England has been extended to 12 October from 12 May as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. An extension request was made by the Planning Inspectorate to BEIS on 6 April because “several hearings had been cancelled potentially resulting in interested parties not been given a fair opportunity to participate in the examination”.

[12/05/2020 – Windpower Engineering and Development] Avangrid Renewables starts construction on 306-MW New Mexico wind farm

“Avangrid Renewables has started construction on the La Joya Wind Farm in Torrance County. When completed, the project will consist of 111 turbines and have a total generating capacity of 306 MW. The portion sited on state trust land will include 74 new wind turbines capable of generating a total of 207 MW.The project is expected to be in operation by the end of 2020. The wind farm will help Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) and other voluntary companies meet their climate and sustainability goals. As work proceeds on site, crews are practicing social distancing and other recommended best practices to reduce risks associated with COVID-19.”

[11/05/2020 – Reuters] Nordex says supply chain problems persist in COVID-19 crisis

German wind turbine maker Nordex (NDXG.DE) on Monday said it was unclear when it could issue a new outlook for the current year, saying supply chain issues caused by the coronavirus pandemic continued to hit its business. “The effects of the coronavirus pandemic have been dominating everyday life in Europe and many other regions for several weeks now. The Nordex Group and the wind energy sector as a whole are being impacted by this crisis,” CEO Jose Luis Blanco said.

[11/05/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: ScottishPower restarts Halsary construction

SPR also restarted construction at its 50MW Beinn an Tuirc 3 wind farm in South Kintyre last week, citing Scottish government which said projects “critical to the safe and secure operation of the system in the short to medium term” qualified as essential despite lockdown rules. However, the guidance specifically ruled out new build projects not due to connect within the next 12 months. The Scottish government has maintained rules which say all non-essential construction work should stop. The move to restart work at Beinn an Tuirc 3 during the lockdown, with workers travelling from Ireland, has triggered controversy in the local area.

[08/05/2020 – Saur Energy] COVID Impact: Siemens Gamesa Incurs Loss; Challenges in India Business

Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy has reported that its performance in the second quarter of FY 2020 (January-March) reflected the unexpected effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on its operations and commercial activity, with a direct impact of EUR 56 million on the company’s profitability. Furthermore, the complicated situation further intensified the challenges in its onshore business, mainly in the Indian market and the execution of projects in Northern Europe.

[07/05/2020 – reNEWS]  COVID-19: Catapult seeks virus risk solution for CTVs

The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult in partnership with the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), G+ and the Workboat Association are seeking a solution to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission in confined spaces on crew transfer vessels (CTVs) aiming to find a way to reduce transmission risk and enable safe vessel transit for offshore wind turbine technicians. Possible options could be a partition, which can be deployed onboard the vessels and allow an increase in passenger and crew numbers.

[01/05/2020 – reNEWS]  COVID-19: RES maintains a rapid response in the UK

UK staff at renewable energy company RES have been working around the clock during the coronavirus lockdown to ensure the continuous supply of clean, green electricity for more than 6000,000 homes. RES’ 24/7/365 control centre has booked more than 2000 key workers onto wind and solar sites over the previous month in order to react to faults and defects and bring wind turbines and solar arrays back online.

[01/05/2020 – ETEnergyworld]  COVID-19: Labour migration to pose short-term challenges for power, renewable energy sectors

According to Manish Gupta, senior director, Crisil Ratings, for under-construction solar projects technical requirements are high at an advanced stage hence, labour intensity is lower. But, if compared the impact of the migration challenge between the wind and solar sector, the impact would be less on wind, according to sector analysts. “The impact would be less because, one, the number of projects under construction in solar is higher than wind and, two, the relative intensity of EPC work is lower in wind,” said Gupta. According to Khanorkar, wind power generation during March and April as it is very low so lower O&M would have a very marginal impact.

[29/04/2020 – offshoreWIND] Ørsted Posts Strong Results, Sees No Significant Impact from COVID-19

“Despite the COVID-19 crisis and its profound impact on societies around the world, we have had a very good start to the year with strong financial results and solid operational performance across the entire business,” Henrik Poulsen, CEO and President of Ørsted, said. He has, however, pointed to an increased risk of component and service delays from suppliers impacted by COVID-19.

[29/04/2020 – offshoreWIND] Ørsted Faces Delays Across US Offshore Wind Portfolio

Ørsted’s offshore wind development projects in the US are moving forward at a slower pace than originally expected, the company’s CEO and President Henrik Poulsen said. The delays are due to a combination of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) prolonged analysis of the cumulative impacts from the build-out of US offshore wind projects, as well as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Poulsen said. The two most mature projects in the developer’s pipeline, the 120 MW Skipjack in Maryland and the 130 MW South Fork project in New York, are most exposed to the risk of delays, according to Poulsen. The commissioning date for the Skipjack project has already been pushed from late 2022 to the end of 2023.

[29/04/2020 – reNEWS] GE Renewable Energy falls deeper into the red

GE Renewable Energy has reported a loss of $302m in the group’s first quarter results, widening the loss of $187m in the same period in 2019 by some 61%. The company cited supply chain disruption due to COVID-19, fulfilment delays. The non-recurrence of a non-cash gain in the first quarter of 2019 also contributed.

[29/04/2020 – gtm] 5 Orsted US Offshore Wind Projects Face Possible Delay Due to COVID-19, Permitting Challenges

Five of Ørsted’s U.S. offshore wind projects totaling nearly 3 gigawatts may face delays due to the coronavirus crisis and slowed permitting, in a blow to U.S. ambitions to animate a thriving offshore wind industry over the next few years. Ørsted said its three largest awarded U.S. offshore projects — the 704-megawatt Revolution Wind for Rhode Island and Connecticut; 880-megawatt Sunrise Wind for New York; and 1.1-gigawatt Ocean Wind for New Jersey — face “increased risk of delays.” “Our offshore development projects in the U.S. are moving forward, although at a slower pace than originally expected due to a combination of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) prolonged analysis of the cumulative impacts from the build-out of U.S. offshore wind projects, and now also COVID-19 effects,” Ørsted said in a statement.

[27/04/2020 – Saur Energy] Inox Wind Opens All Manufacturing Facilities with Permission from Local Authority

Noida-headquartered company has informed to the stock exchange that after “obtaining requisite permission from concerned district administration, it has now resumed operations at all its three manufacturing plants in compliance with all the safety guidelines and directives issued by the Central and State Governments and local administration to safeguard the employees, labourers and all other stakeholders to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

[23/04/2020 – InsideClimateNews] Inside Clean Energy: Here Is How Covid Is Affecting Some of the Largest Wind, Solar and Energy Storage Projects

PacifiCorp, the utility developing the 503-megawatt TB Flats wind farm in Wyoming, said it is dealing with a delay of several weeks getting electronic equipment. Several other projects are still on schedule. For example, the 525-megawatt Aviator Wind project in west-central Texas “remains unimpacted,” said Cat Strumlauf, spokeswoman for the developer Apex Clean Energy.

[23/04/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: Sembcorp fabrication jobs on track in Singapore

Two offshore wind fabrication jobs on the books at Sembcorp Marine in Singapore have escaped any Covid-19 impacts, despite national authorities tightening lockdown measures in response to a second wave of the virus. Manufacturing of jackets by the company for the 376MW Formosa 2 offshore wind farm in Taiwan is ongoing, according to a spokeswoman for lead foundations contractor Jan De Nul. Sembcorp is supplying 15 foundations for the project with deliveries due in December 2020.

[23/04/2020 – reNEWS] TPI Composites withdraws 2020 guidance

The withdrawn guidance was issued on 27 February and updated on 3 April for the fiscal year ending 31 December 2020. As per Wind turbine blade manufacturer TPI Composites, there is uncertainty over the impact on its manufacturing operations because of the evolving nature, magnitude and duration of the pandemic, as well as the variety of measures implemented by governments around the world to address its effects.

[23/04/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: Catapult resumes testing at Blyth

The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult has resumed testing and validation activity at the National Renewable Energy Centre in Blyth, north-east England, after introducing measures to ensure staff safety during the Covid-19 pandemic. It carries out research, test and validation programmes that are fundamental to progressing major offshore renewable energy projects and growing UK supply chains to meet economic growth and decarbonisation targets.

[22/04/2020 – CNBC] As the coronavirus continues to impact renewables industry, another turbine manufacturer suspends guidance

Wind turbine firm Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) has withdrawn financial guidance for the 2020 financial year. In a statement SGRE said the “uncertainty associated with COVID-19” was “compounding challenges in India and Northern Europe.” SGRE joins Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas — which this week announced its decision to lay off around 400 employees — in suspending guidance for 2020.

[22/04/2020 – Business Today] 1,000 foreign firms mull production in India, 300 actively pursue plan as ‘Exit China’ mantra grows

These companies see India as an alternate manufacturing hub and have taken up their proposals across various levels of the government, including central government departments, Indian missions abroad and state industry departments.

[20/04/2020 – Insurance Journal] Positive Tests Mount After Virus Outbreak at North Dakota Wind Turbine Plant

A coronavirus outbreak at a northeastern North Dakota wind turbine plant has ballooned to 110 cases in early testing and one city official said he expects a “prolonged battle” to control the spread. An uptick in cases at the LM Wind Power facility in Grand Forks led to the drive-thru screening on Thursday of 424 people, which included close contacts of infected workers, other household members and employees who have not shown symptoms, Gov. Doug Burgum said. All but 52 of those tests have been completed by the state lab. Burgum said LM Wind Power’s parent company, GE, has committed to keep the plant closed for a minimum of 14 days and continue to pay its employees. State Health Officer Mylynn Tufte has issued a quarantine order for those employees.

[20/04/2020 – Renewable Energy Magazine] O&M costs in the wind industry fall with COVID-19 induced work practices set to become the new norm

A global COVID-19 wind operations leader survey has revealed that the frequency of uptower wind operations & maintenance (O&M) work has lessened. As wind farm owners and investors prioritise critical equipment maintenance, reduce subcontractor reliance and adopt virtual working practices for non-essential kit monitoring and analysis, operational and technology teams have fast-tracked a new working framework for wind turbine operations and maintenance that will drive future operational efficiencies, post COVID-19. Research undertaken by Onyx InSight, provide a comprehensive overview and assessment of the immediate and expected impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on wind farm operations and maintenance best practice. Key report findings directly connected to the evolution of future operational work practices, include: 1) An increased reliance on remote/virtual engineering assessment and analytics, in order to prioritise scheduled and unscheduled maintenance and repairs; 2) A rapid reduction in external subcontractors, coupled with increased overview and daily management of internal teams and their equipment; 3) Increased focus on tackling critical correctives, with an emphasis on deferring or delaying maintenance where not absolutely necessary.

[20/04/2020 – Vestas] To ensure strong focus on execution in 2020 and sustain long-term competitiveness, Vestas will optimise its product portfolio

Impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Vestas is taking steps to ensure we exit 2020 in the position of strength with which we entered it. Vestas intends to reduce its workforce across functions in Denmark that do not directly support 2020 deliveries. It intends to lay off approximately 400 employees, which will primarily affect locations in Denmark. A limited number of layoffs is also expected in other locations in Europe. Additionally, Vestas’ registered directors in Executive Management will take a 10 percent pay-cut until end of 2020.

[19/04/2020 – Reuters] North Dakota coronavirus cases spike with outbreak at GE wind power plant

North Dakota reported a spike in novel coronavirus cases on Saturday after more people tested positive at a wind power factory run by a unit of General Electric, posing a challenge to the state’s plan to re-open as early as May 1. The factory outbreak boosted the number of new cases recorded over the past 24 hours to 90, the largest single day increase, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the state to 528 among which 9 people have died. General Electric would pay workers during the shutdown, and company would disinfect the plant. “We will continue to support our employees and monitor their condition, as we determine when and how we can re-start the plant safely,” as per GE. The factory, which makes rotor blades for wind turbines, will be closed for at least two weeks, governor Burgum said.

[14/04/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: Nordex, LM Wind Power restart in Spain

Nordex and LM Wind Power have reopened factories across Spain after non-essential work was paused due to the country’s coronavirus crisis. Nordex began reopening its factories in Barasoain, Vall d’Uixò and Lumbier in Spain in early April after temporarily closing them “as a result of the increasingly stringent governmental containment measures” on 30 March. Nordex has also confirmed it reopened its Indian production facilities in Chennai on 6 April. The German wind manufacturer added that some of its factories were only operating with limited capacity. LM Wind had reopened operations at its Ponferrada plant on Friday and at Castellon on Monday after the territorial labour office gave the company’s safety plan the green light.

[14/04/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: Vestas resumes full production in Spain

Vestas has reopened its generator factory in Viviero and returned its blade factory in Daimiel to full capacity as Spain partially eased its coronavirus lockdown.

[13/04/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: Siemens Gamesa reopening Spanish plants

Siemens Gamesa is reopening all turbine production facilities across Spain after a two week “pause” in non-essential work due to the coronavirus pandemic. Factories in Lerma and Burgos producing gearboxes, an electronic equipment plant in San Fernando de Henares, a blade plant in Somozas and a nacelle factory in Ágreda reopened. The company’s blade plant in Aoiz, gearbox production in Asteasu and a converter plant in Valencia to open on 14th April, Tuesday due to bank holidays in some Spanish regions. 

[11/04/2020 – ETEnergyworld] Orsted hopes coronavirus will not slow Japan’s offshore wind projects

Orsted, the world’s largest offshore wind farm developer, is concerned the coronavirus may delay auctions for offshore projects as it prepares to enter the market, the head of its Asia-Pacific unit said. “The pandemic will not influence investment decisions and general confidence in offshore wind, but it could delay the projects’ timeline,” Matthias Bausenwein, president of Orsted Asia-Pacific, told Reuters. Orsted’s offshore wind projects in Taiwan have not been affected, but they may see an impact over time, Bausenwein said.

[10/04/2020 – ETEnergyworld] No plans to slow down renewable energy growth target, says MNRE secretary

“We are not going to slow down right now,” Amitesh Kumar Sinha, joint secretary of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) said on Thursday. The country will receive raw materials for building renewable energy capacity of 6-7 GW, which are currently stuck in Chinese ports, in another month, Sinha said in a web conference organised by RE consultancy firm Bridge to India. MNRE said it wants all generators running to their full capacity. The only exception on this matter would be due to issues of grid safety, it said.

[10/04/2020 – offshoreWIND] PGE to Ditch Projects Outside Core Business, Offshore Wind Safe 

PGE will close projects with unsatisfactory rate of return and especially those not directly related to its core business. Offshore wind projects do not meet these parameters and will thus remain on track. The negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economic situation, and particularly electricity consumption, also contributed to the decision.

[09/04/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: Bombora delays mWave deployment

Wave energy company Bombora has delayed the planned deployment of its mWave demonstration system in Wales to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. A company spokesperson told “We have announced a delay on deploying our 1.5MW mWave in Wales from later this year to 2021 as supplier workshops are shut for now and safety has to be our first priority. The mWAVE system is a membrane style wave energy converter located 10 metres beneath the ocean’s surface, similar to a fully submerged reef. It is invisible from the shore said Bombora. As ocean waves pass over mWave, the membranes deflect pumping air through a turbine to generate electricity.

[09/04/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: DEME deploys floating quarantine hotel

DEME has hired a ship to ensure the safe changeover of crews onboard dredging and offshore vessels during the COVID-19 pandemic. The offshore wind contractor is hiring a floating hotel to support quarantine measures from this weekend. It will be moored in Ostend, in Belgium.

[09/04/2020 – reNEWS] WATCH: Orsted starts turbine installation at Borssele 1&2

Orsted has dispatched the first lot of Siemens Gamesa 8MW turbines for installation at its 752MW Borssele 1&2 offshore wind project off the Netherlands. DEME Offshore jack-up Sea Challenger departed the Danish port of Esbjerg carrying the first four out of 94 turbines that will be installed at the site next week. Orsted said it is doing its “utmost” to keep building the project amid the coronavirus pandemic. “We do this in a way that puts the health and safety of employees first. For the time being, this is succeeding, and construction is on schedule,” the developer wrote in a recent project update.

[08/04/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: Innogy halts Glen Kyllachy construction

Construction at Innogy’s planned 50MW Glen Kyllachy wind farm in the Scottish Highlands is suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Elsewhere in the Highlands Irish developer ESB says it has paused site surveys for the proposed up-to-100MW Chleansaid wind farm. The development, currently in scoping, would feature up to 20 turbines with a tip height up to 200 metres and is situated 13km north east of Lairg.

[07/04/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: Vestas suspends 2020 guidance 

Vestas has suspended its guidance for 2020, citing uncertainty and limited visibility resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Its first quarter figures and a 3.3GW order intake in that period indicated achieving its previous 2020 outlook was realistic and showed a “limited” impact when seen in isolation. Chief executive Henrik Andersen said: “Unfortunately, the pandemic continues to spread and with no clear prognosis on when key wind markets such as the USA, Brazil and India will recover, we are suspending our guidance due to the poor visibility for the remainder of the year.”

[07/04/2020 – Recharge] Global turbine spend will climb despite coronavirus impact: WoodMac

Despite demand fluctuations and the impact of the coronavirus, some $600bn is foreseen being spent on wind turbines and componentry in the ten years through 2028, pointing to an increase of 8% compared to 2019 levels, according to latest figures from analysts Wood Mackenzie. Higher average turbine prices and a 20% growth in offshore demand reflect a 37% uptick in supply chain potential, representing a cumulative value of $222bn by 2028, the analyst group said.

[06/04/2020 – The Hutchinson News] Siemens Gamesa to furlough 200 in Hutchinson

Driven by parts and material delays directly caused by COVID-19 impacts to our international suppliers, Siemens Gamesa has made the difficult decision to furlough 100 employees at the Fort Madison, Iowa, facility and about 200 employees at the Hutchinson facilities. Siemens Gamesa confirmed that employees at both plants will be furloughed for three- or four-weeks citing issues with its international supply chain. Though it didn’t indicate when the furloughs would begin.

[06/04/2020 – Saur Energy] Stolen by Covid. Woodmac Projects 3 GW Hit on Solar, Wind Due to Lockdown

Wood Mackenzie, the global industry tracker, in its latest report today has projected that India could face over 21.6% or 3 gigawatts (GW) of solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind installations delays as a result of the country’s lockdown.

[02/04/2020 – VICE NEWS] Coronavirus Is Actually Helping the Environment — for Now

“We’re at near-record levels of wind farms under construction,” says Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, “so the COVID-19 disruption is coming at a horrendous moment.”

[01/04/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: Boskalis braces for financial hit

Boskalis expects the coronavirus pandemic will negatively impact its business and financial results in 2020, stating it is “currently impossible” to quantify the extent. The offshore wind contractor has opted not to schedule a dividend proposal for the financial year 2019 and to suspend its share buy-back scheme from next week given the “uncertainty” over the public health emergency sweeping the globe.

[01/04/2020 – ETEnergyworld] Wind turbine maker Nordex suspends production in Spain

German wind turbine maker Nordex has suspended production at its Spanish factories responding to a lockdown in the country aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus. Production at the group’s nacelle casing factories in Barasoain and Vall d’Uixo as well as at the rotor blade site in Lumbier has been suspended.

[01/04/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: Siemens Gamesa reopens Hull blade factory

Siemens Gamesa has restarted full production at its Hull blade manufacturing plant in the UK after introducing a series of measures to protect staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has introduced thermal imaging, enhanced protective equipment and various other initiatives to get operations going again after the factory was shut last week.

[31/03/2020 – EnergiaEstrategica]  Coronavirus in Colombia: warners that marketers could terminate contracts to winners of the renewable auction

In an interview for Strategic Energy, Hemberth Suárez Lozano, founding partner of OGE Legal Services, offered a legal perspective on delays in contracts resulting from the global pandemic.

[31/03/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: Vestas closes two factories in Spain

As per Vestas, all of the continuing operations will be “performed under the extraordinary safety measures that were implemented since the beginning of the crisis in all sites to minimise the risk of contagion within our employees” and it is “ready to quickly restart operations on 10 April or the timeline established by the authorities”. Work at the Daimiel facility had been temporarily stopped earlier in the month but had been re-opened after an inspection from the health authorities.

[31/03/2020 – WindEurope] Production of critical wind turbine components must continue 

In a statement, WindEurope expressed concern at the “reaching impact” the crisis is having on the European wind energy supply chain and wrote national Governments need to allow for essential manufacturing processes to continue, in particular for the production of components without which global wind energy supply chains will grind to a halt.

[31/03/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: PNE may push projects back to 2021

PNE may have to move projects planned for implementation this year to 2021 because of the coronavirus. As per PNE chief executive there may be shifts in their operating business as regards the sale of project rights and project implementation from 2020 to 2021 and from 2021 to 2022 due to spread of the COVID-19 virus.

[30/03/2020] Covid-19: ‘Most European plants remain open’

The global coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic will affect the industry’s 2020 goals, but it is still too early to say by how much.

[30/03/2020 – CWEA] China’s wind power industry is also not immune

As per CWEA, annual wind turbine shipments will be reduced by about 30%, and equipment supply will be delayed by more than 6 months. Offshore wind power project construction period is delayed by at least 8 to 12 months. It suggests that extending the grid connection period is a necessary measure for the wind power industry to stabilize the investment in response to the epidemic. Imports and exports of raw materials such as Basham wood, polyvinyl chloride, and main bearings, gearbox bearings, IGBT chips and other components have begun to be limited.

[27/03/2020 – ReNews] COVID-19: ‘96% of EU wind turbine factories operating’

The majority of Europe’s wind turbine and component factories are continuing to operate, with 96% of manufacturing sites still producing, according to trade body WindEurope.

[27/03/2020 – Recharge] Global giants halt India plants as coronavirus crunch hits third key global wind hub

Vestas, Siemens Gamesa and LM Wind Power say national lockdown means production temporarily suspended as nation joins China and Spain on disruption list.

[27/03/2020 – PEi, Power Engineering International] Norweign company Statkraft stalls hydro and wind projects due to COVID-19

The projects on hold are the 100 MW Tidong hydropower project in India; the 52 MW Los Lagos hydropower project in Chile; and the 43 MW Windy Rig wind farm in Scotland. Meanwhile, work on the 184 MW Moglice hydropower project in Albania and Construction of Fosen Vind, Europe’s largest onshore wind power project in central Norway, are continuing.

[27/03/2020 – BusinessLine] Renewable projects in the APAC region are unaffected by the COVID-19 outbreak, as per Fitch Ratings.

The ratings agency referred to projects involving Adani Green Energy Ltd, Azure Power Solar Energy Private Ltd and Star Energy Geothermal. Adani Green has a BBB- rating with a stable outlook. Azure Power has a BB rating and Star Energy Geothermal, Indonesia’s largest geothermal power station, has a BB- rating. Regarding near-term refinancing, Fitch noted that there are no near-term risks.

[27/03/2020 – WindPower Monthly] Covid-19: ‘Most European plants remain open’

Amid work continues in Europe, Vestas, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) and GE blade manufacturer LM Wind Power had all closed production sites in Spain to protect workers from Covid-19. Vestas reopened its blade factory in San Daimiel after health authorities approved measures in place there, and LM Wind Power resumed production at two Spanish sites following an extended Easter holiday. Meanwhile, SGRE had closed its technology centre in Madrid and blade plant in Navarre after a member of staff tested positive for the virus.

[27/3/2020 – offshoreWIND] CWind Taiwan Aligns Ops with COVID-19 Measures

The company is taking precautionary measures; the range from remote working of office employees on a rotation basis, through Management Team and HSE Manager monitoring all shore staff, offshore crew and passengers’ health condition every day, to daily deep clean on all sites, offices, and vessels. It says all travel including change of vessel crew or passenger onboard CTVs needs to be approved by Management and HSE teams.

[27/3/2020 – ReNews] COVID-19: Vestas closes factories in India

Operations are currently suspended at its blade factory in Ahmedabad and the hub and nacelle plant in Chennai.

[27/3/2020 – ReNews]  COVID-19: Siemens Gamesa pauses production at Hull

In light of new government guidelines in response to the coronavirus, Siemens Gamesa has paused production at its blade factory in Hull, east England. Port operations in Hull remain open under the same regime of review.
 

[26-03-2020 – Recharge]  Covid-19: Projections hit as US begins to feel bite

The global coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic will affect the industry’s 2020 goals, but it is still too early to say by how much.
 

[26-03-2020 – reNEWS]  COVID-19: Siemens Gamesa shuts factories in India

Siemens Gamesa has closed manufacturing plants in India in response to a three-week government-enforced lockdown across the country to curtail the spread of coronavirus.
 
 
Electricity provider Mercury has halted construction work on its $450 million Turitea wind farm in Manawatū, first stage of the wind farm was 33 turbines, at a cost of $256m, while the second stage was a 27-turbine, $208m project.
 

The Government of Colombia ordered, through decree 457 of 2020, compulsory isolation throughout the country to stop the advance of COVID-19, the measure will be in force for 19 days, until April 16. It impacts the progress of the 500 kV work “Colectora – Cuestecitas – La Loma”, which will allow the energy generated by the six wind projects awarded in the long-term auction more than 1,000 MW. The probable extension in the construction deadlines of this 470 km power line would affect the ability to obtain financing from the wind farms for 1,077 MW awarded in the auction.

 
[25/3/2020 – WindPower Monthly] Ørsted keeping tabs on Covid-19 impact
 
Ørsted’s under-construction wind farms are progressing according to plan despite the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. It continues to monitor how the virus will affect its operations.
 
 
“I challenge anyone to have imagined anything like Covid-19.” Those were the words of Enel CEO Francesco Starace, as he reflected on how no corporate resilience ‘wargame’ could have foreseen the impact of coronavirus on the world’s people, economies and energy industries.
 

[19/03/2020 – Recharge] Siemens Gamesa halts second Spanish factory over coronavirus

Siemens Gamesa has halted work at a second Spanish plant after a positive coronavirus test. The Aoiz blade plant in Navarre is closed for disinfection and the employee under medical observation following the test, said a statement from the wind OEM. Siemens Gamesa had already closed its San Fernando de Henares power electronics facility in Madrid after a positive test there.

These country updates focus on the key issues that could impact the wind industry during the COVID-19 crisis, including impact on workforce, status of wind as an essential service in national measures, inclusion of wind in economic stimulus packages, status of important polices for the local wind industry such as auctions and Feed-in-tariff deadlines, GWEC and national association's activities to actively promote the wind industry in national measures during the COVID-19 crisis, as well as additional links and resources.

GWEC is actively engaging with all national wind energy associations to provide a country-by-country update on the impact of COVID-19 on the local wind industry. Currently, we have included updates for the top 6 wind energy markets globally and will continue to add more information on other markets as the situation develops.

Additional resources from Wind Associations:

Impact on Workforce

Energy services are considered an essential service and all power generation operations are active. However, no free movement is allowed inside the country, all public transportation has been stopped and only authorized people can move freely. These transport restrictions are complicating operations and construction for wind projects.

Import processes are being delayed due to the shortage of personnel and restrictions on transport, with food and health imports being prioritised. However, the energy sector is included in the essencial imports list. 

Status of Wind Projects

All construction projects were halted during the first weeks of the quarantine period. However, some projects have already been authorised to restart operations under certain circumstances. 

The Argentinian wind energy association has been engaging with policymakers to further open up project construction under established health and safety protocols as well as asking for an extension on Feed-in-Tariff deadlines.

Nevertheless, delays in project construction and auctions were already seen prior to the COVID-19 crisis due to the economic situation in Argentina, which has been exasperated during the crisis.

Stimulus Package & Economic Support

No specific measures on eocnomic relief to the wind industry. Minor measures are in place for the general economy but not for specific sectors. i.e. measures are taken to protect the income of families, protect production and employment, and guarantee supply.

It is important to note that the economic situation in the country has been heavily affected by the quarantine measures taken by government. Power generators – both renewable and traditional – had been experiencing delays on payments from CAMMESA (state agency). Power distributors are experiencing liquidity issues as some sectors of the population are exempted from payments and companies are having trouble paying their energy bills as they are not operating. Demand has fallen more than 50% because of the quarantine measures. However, it is expected, that quarantine measures will be extended for a longer period, with a flexibilisation in some activities.

Resources

Impact on Workforce

Brazil has adopted a policy of social isolation to stem the spread of COVID-19, exact measures vary on a state level, however there is a consensus among governors about the importance of social isolation.

Electric energy generation, transmission and distribution services are considered essential, including the provision of supplies for the O&M of generation plants as well as transmission and distribution systems.

 

Status of Wind Projects

While there is no formal restriction on transport in the country, there are isolated cases of construction sites that have been frozen by an order from the municipality. The industry is in direct dialogue with municipal governments to explain the precautionary measures they are putting in place on the construction site to ensure the health of their workforce and city. ABEEolica, the Brazilian Wind Energy Association, has created a crisis work group to address this issue.

Additionally, the two auctions for 2020 have been postponed, but the new date has yet to be announced. This decision was well received and understood by the industry considering the instability that the crisis has caused.

Brazil’s energy system is already heavily renewable, with over 15 GW of  total wind energy capacity already installed by the end of 2019, making up 9.6 per cent of total electricity demand and providing over 230,000 jobs in the country. Thus, the government understands the importance of wind energy in their energy matrix, and ABEEolica is working closely with the Ministry of Mines and Energy and the Ministry of Economy along with other industry stakeholders to assess the impact of COVID-19 on Brazil’s wind energy sector and take appropriate action.

Stimulus Package & Economic Support

On 1 April, the federal government in Brazil announced an aid package totaling R $ 200 billion to stimulate the economy. While there are no measures directly for the wind industry, other relevant measures include:

  • Companies can reduce their working hours by 20%, 25% or 30% and the government will cover the wage gap
  • Opening of a credit line for companies to honour the salaries of their employees during the crisis
  • Transfer of R $ 16 billion through the recompistion of the State Participation Fund (FDE) and the Municipality Participation Fund (FPM) to mitigate the impact of the crisis

Additionaly, on 8 April the Brazilian government issued a provisionary measure that authorises the contracting of loans with banks to relieve the short-term cashflow deficit of energy distributors due to a sudden decrease in energy demand during the crisis. The measure establishes the conditions to make credit operations feasible, providing financial relief to the distributors and allow them to continue paying power generators and other sectoral agents. 

The measure also exempts consumers who benefit from the social tariff from payment for consumption of up to 220 kWh/month for 3 months. 

Resources

Impact on Workforce

In Wuhan, China’s epicenter of COVID-19,  lockdown measures were lifted on the 28 March after two months. However, on the same day, a travel ban on all foreign nationals including those holding a work visa or residence permit came into force in China, the world’s largest wind market in both new and cumulative installations. 

The lifting of the lockdown measures in Wuhan is a clear signal that China’s domestic workforce is beginning to return to business-as-usual, but the closure of the country’s borders will still have an impact on the flow of workforce for the supply chain in China, where leading international turbine OEMs and components suppliers have production facilities established in different regions throughout the country. 

Status of Wind Projects

China was the first country hit by the COVID-19 virus. Disruption has been reported on the flow of supply chain and workforce in February and early March. Although China managed to get the virus under control within two months, only 70% of production are back online by the end of March. In addition, the COVID-19 crisis outside China has brought challenges on the import of key components and materials such as bearings, balsa wood and PVC.

On 5 March, China’s NEA (National Energy Administration) released a guideline on construction of wind and solar projects in 2020. It shows more strict control of approving on both onshore and offshore projects. No new projects should be approved if the province has reached its targets set in 13th Five-year Plan (2016-2020). Subsidy-free onshore project is encouraged and the deadline of submitting application is postponed from mid-February to end of April.

On 30 March, the China Wind Energy Association (CWEA) launched an initiative on behalf of the industry. It presents the impact by COVID-19 and calls on the NEA and National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC ) to postpone the deadline of projects connected to grid by at least 6 months. It also suggests to remove the performance check in 2020 on wind curtailment since the power consumption this year will be lower than it should be.

This extension will be crucial for China’s wind industry to realise the installation rush that was foreseen for 2020.  More than 60 GW of onshore wind projects were approved before the end of 2018 and therefore must be grid connected by the end of 2020 in order to receive the Feed-in-Tariff, as China will move into a ‘subsidy-free’ policy starting in 2021. The pressure is tremendous for project developers and manufacturers considering the financial consequences caused by the disruption of COVID-19 on the Chinese wind supply chain.

Stimulus Package & Economic Support

The wind industry is a major sector for China’s economy, and the blow from closing factories when the country was at its peak of its COVID-19 crisis coupled with a decrease in external demand as other countries now deal with the virus will have an impact on the industry. Although there are no specific economic measures for the wind industry, the China is preparing a large-scale stimulus to deal with the economic impact of the crisis.

It has been reported that China will increase its fiscal deficit as a share of gross domestic product, issue special sovereign debt and allow local governments to sell more infrastructure bonds as part of a package to stablise the economy. 

China has yet to release its budget for 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis delaying a key political meeting.

Resources

Impact on Workforce

Germany does not gone into ‘full lockdown’, instead putting in place strict social distancing measures issued on the 22 March. Consequently, no factories in Germany have closed and there has been relatively small impact to the wind energy workforce as a result of COVID-19 measures.

Status of Wind Projects

On 23 March, Germany’s federal network agency BNetzA announced that due to the spread of COVID-19, it would allow onshore wind developers who were successful in the country’s previous auctions to delay project implementation.

The agency also said that they plan to move forward with the planned auctions in 2020, although they will not publicly announce the winners so that project deadlines do not come into force immediately. BNetzA has said that successful bidders will receive a written assurance in the meantime to confirm that they have been awarded a contract, but the public announcement will come after the COVID-19 calms down and realistic project deadlines can be set.

Stimulus Package & Economic Support

On 25 March, Germany authorised a major stimulus package worth over €750 billion, which includes €600 billion for business loans and to buy direct stakes in critical industries and €156 billion in debt to finance higher social spending. While there are no measures specific to the wind industry, relevant measures include:

  • Program of Direct investments for syndicated financing;
  • Direct payments to SMEs;
  • Liquidity support for small and big companies;
  • Delay in payment of taxes.

Resources

Impact on Workforce

The Greek government has adopted strict containment measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 including a national lockdown that restricts everything but essential movement and economic activity, travel bans on foreigners from high-risk countries, and domestic travel restrictions.

The wind industry is fully operational as ‘Critical Operators’ under ‘essential services’ through reinforcing team and establishing alternate working locations.

Status of Wind Projects

On 2 April, Greece held their scheduled renewable energy auction as planned electronically as any document that was required in its physical form had already been submitted. The technology neutral auction awarded a total of 502.94MW, with wind accounting for 153MW.

The Hellenic Government has adopted a Legislative Act (OGJ A’75/30.3.2020), which has extended deadlines for installation licenses, binding grid connection offers, and connecting projects which have been selected through auctions by 4-6 months, depending on the expiry date. Deadlines which were originally set for 30 June 2020 are extended by 6 months, and deadlines that were originally set between 1 July 2020 and 21 December 2020 are extended by 4 months.

Administrative procedures related to grid access and connection rights assignment suspended during the crisis period.

Stimulus Package & Economic Support

The Greek government has announced a stimulus package in response to the crisis totalling €10 billion. While there are no wind or renewable specific measures included in the stimulus, other measures directed to wider business could be relevant to the wind industry such as:

  • Liquidity support to hard hit business through subsidised loans, loan guarantees, interest payment subsidies, and deferred payments of tax and social security contribution;
  • A €750 billion expansion of the country’s asset purchase program of private and public sector securities (Pandemic Mergency Purchase Program or PEPP) until end of 2020;
  • An expanded range of eligible assets uner the corporate sector purchase programme (CSPP).

Resources

Impact on Workforce

Power generation, including renewable power generation is included as an essential service during India’s 21-day full lockdown announced pn tje 24 March 2020. The following is therefore still allowed for renewable energy power generation plants under the lockdown:

  • Permission for staff, associated workforce and vehicles to move around and movement of material and field engineers at renewable power generation sites, substations, transmission lines and towers, etc. with minimum manpower.
  • Allowing minimum staff required to work for renewable power generation sites and offices to ensure uninterrupted renewable power generation
  • Exemption for the Nationwide Lockdown, curfew or any other limitation on number of people to gather in locations like renewable power generation sites, substations, transmission lines and towers, etc, and other related locations where it may be required for O&M activities and associated equipment.
  • Availability of batteries/energy storage systems, electrical equipment, maintenance equipment, tractors/trucks and other required tools and plants for maintenance activities.
  • Allow round the clock permission to mobilise field staff to be able to reach and access electrical installations of renewable power generation.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) will be providing health and safety guidelines for the workforce deployed as above during the lockdown.

However, while O&M services continue to operate with a reduced workforce, to comply with the 21-day lockdown in India, both local and international turbine OEMs and components manufacturers have temporarily suspended their production activities in India. 

After extending the lockdown until the 3 May, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued an order on 14 April, stipulating revised lockdown measures. In this order it was announced that selected additional activities will be allowed from 20 April, but manufacturing facilities are unlikely to resume activities until 3 May due to the extended lockdown period and varied implemented restrictions by State government and local Authorities .

Since construction activities are allowed for wind or renewable projects, there are two main issues:

  1. Most site engineering teams have moved to their home residence since the national lockdown was implemented, also the Project Site, which are generally far from their sites.
  2. Construction work is allowed within the limits of municipal corporation and municipalities where workers are available on site i.e. it does not require to have workers brought in from outside to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Consequently, there are following concerns which will further delay the schedules:
  • There is a challenge in mobilising the team for logistics and transport movement;
  • Though transport has been allowed, there will be slow down as many interstate roadblocks are anticipated. Raw and engineering materials at the Port/Custom Bond Warehouses are currently pending for clearance, which may further delay the production schedule.
  • Factory management must rework on inventory and plan production levels, which will start initially at 25-30% availability and will later ramp up production in mid-May;
  • Post O&M operation of WTGs may be held, due to the non-availability materials or other critical components in the site office’s inventory.

Overall, it is expected that India’s annual wind turbine shipments will be reduced by about 30% and equipment supply may be delayed by more than 6 months.

India is the largest wind turbine production base after China in the Asia Pacific region, with annual wind turbine manufacturing capacity up to 10 GW. Suzlon Energy and Inox remaining as the top local suppliers with sizable market share in India today, the rest of market, about 75 per cent, is primarily shared by Siemens Gamesa, Vestas and GE.

When the COVID-19 crisis was first reported in China, disrupting China’s wind supply chain, large western turbine producers began shifting their supply chain by using their Indian facilities as a solution to mitigate the expected damages caused by COVID-19 at their production facilities in China. This strategy is not new, and was first adopted by European gearbox suppliers ZF and Winergy in 2018 to limit the damage imposed by the US- China trade war. However, the lockdown in India has now made this solution unworkable, and western turbine OEMs are now also facing the supply chain disruption challenge in Europe.

India is also one of the world’s largest wind gearbox manufacturing bases with nearly 10 GW of annual output. At present, ZF and Winergy have halted their production in India and NGC has also suspended the construction work at their upcoming new facility in Sri City. As India is a key wind gearboxes exporter to the US onshore wind market, the disruption of COVID-19 on Indian wind gearbox supply chain is not only expected to have negative impact on its home market, but also the current onshore wind installation rush in the US.

Status of Wind Projects

On 20 March, the MNRE announced that there will be an extension in scheduled commissioning dates for renewable energy projects considering the supply chain disruptions due to the spread of COVID-19 by enacting force majeure.

The renewable energy implementing agencies of the MNRE may grant suitable extension of time for projects based on evidence and documents produced by developers in support of their respective claims of supply chain disruptions caused by COVID-19. The extension will also take into consideration the period of the lockdown and time required for remobilisation of workforce.

According to GWEC’s pre-COVID market outlook, compared to 2021 and 2022, 2020 is expected to be a slow year for India. Issues pertaining to non-availability of grid and land have already been reported as the challenges impacting the new installations in 2020. Nonetheless, the decisions of MNRE are crucial for the domestic industry as a measure to ease the disruption on the supply chain caused by the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown.

Stimulus Package & Economic Support

Wind is considered as an essential service and the Indian government has issued an order to maintain a ‘Must Run’ status for wind farms and are preparing a package to ensure that the dues from the utilities (Discoms) are paid to the generators even though the demand for power has decreased due to the shutdown of commercial and industry establishments.

The Indian governement has approved an economic relief package for the power sector, however this does not include power generation sectors but rather focuses on distribution companies (discoms). The package includes a three month moratorium on state-owned electricity discoms and waiving penalties for late payments. On 6 April, the government also published guidelines for renewable power generators for issuing invoices to discoms as physical invoices may not be possible under lockdown measures. 

The government has no plans to back down from its ambitious target of 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022. Thus on 14 April, the MNRE asked state and port authorities to identify land parcels of 50-500 acres for setting up renewable energy manufacturing and export services hub, and has stated they will provide full support to companies planning to expand or set-up bases in India for manufacturing and export of services in the renewable energy sector. These measures will be a major relief for both the domestic and international supply chain are currently under. Moreover, the ministry hopes to put forth a fresh bid of 2000 MW of wind in the near future. 

Resources

Impact on Workforce

On 16 April, the Japanese government declared a nationwide “State of Emergency” to stem the spread of COVID-19, which is an expansion of the declaration made by the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for seven prefectures on 7 April 2020.

The level of restriction in Japan is moderate compared to other countries. Almost all the factories, transportation, wind project operation and construction have been running business as usual. Nevertheless, according to Japan Wind Power Association (JWPA), the following concerns remain:  

  • As business trips to and from Europe have been banned, foreign supervisors cannot visit Japan and therefore WTGs trial operations may be suspended;
  • Wind project construction execution may be at the risk. Following the COVID-19 cases reported at construction sites, Japanese constructors Shimizu Co., one of the largest construction companies in Japan, Nishimatsu Co. and Toku Construction Co. began negotiations with their customers to halt construction work, this covers wider construction work and is not specific to just wind power. Potential delays in construction work at Tohoku and Hokkaido may cause significant impact on project commission execution, as project contractors must complete construction work before snowfall;
  • Negative impacts on the movement of O&M workforce and the flow of components and spare parts to local windfarms, as business trips are restricted nationwide by “State of Emergency”;
  • Delay of EIA and offshore wind site nomination as it becomes difficult to hold meetings with local residents and communities under the nationwide physical meetings restriction. If the situation lasts only a few months, it will not have a big impact. However, if the situation continues for more than six months, there will be a potential risk of one-year delay in the development of new projects.

Status of Wind Projects

According to GWEC Market Intelligence, Japan has a total cumulative installed wind power capacity of 3,923 MW by the end of 2019, of which 66 MW is offshore, making it the third largest wind market in Asia after China and India. For offshore alone, nearly 15 GW of wind projects were in the EIA pipeline in Japan as of January 2020. There is a strong sense of growing momentum at both a policy and business level, and many of the leading global players have now formed joint ventures with local Japanese companies and/or set up local operations.

2020 is expected to be an important year for the offshore wind sector in Japan with the awarding of contracts for the first wave of commercial projects, and the announcement of the framework for further competitive bidding rounds. In February 2020, GWEC and the Japan Wind Power Association set up a new Japan Offshore Wind Task Force representing the leading private sector stakeholders. This Task Force will play a key role in working with the government in the coming year, as well as produce a detailed Cost Reduction Study which will identify the different price scenarios as well as investment and industrialisation opportunities for the country’s offshore industry based on different volume projections.

Stimulus Package & Economic Support

As of 20 April, the Japanese government’s stimulus package to cushion the economic blow of the COVID-19 crisis has now reached ¥117.1 trillion, which is an additional ¥25.69 trillion compared to its original proposed stimulus package. The key measures comprise cash handouts to affected households and firms, deferral of tax payments and social security contributions, and concessional loans from public and private financial institutions.

Resources

Impact on Workforce

The Mexican government has extended its measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 until 30 May, with plans to ease restrictions from 1 June onwards if these measures are successful. Wind power production is considered essential, but construction is not explicitly considered as such.

Most manufacturing facilities continue operations, following preventive measures to ensure the health and safety of the workers, but will potentiallyclose if government restrictions increase. A Nordex windblade facility that has halted production is now looking to re-open following the governement’s social distancing guidelines. 

There have been reports of the Mexican government shutting down factories that have not adhered to social distancing rules.

Status of Wind Projects

There are only early signals of potential construction delays, but it is expected that this condition will evolve along with new government restrictions and limitations to access supplies. Companies with projects under construction are following up continuously with suppliers, for any delays due to the sanitary emergency.

Mexico’s cement industry has halted production temporarily and is only supplying strategic government projects under an update Declaration. This will potentially impact projects under construction in Mexico.

Renewable energy associations in Mexico are actively engaging with policymakers to revise any policies that will be impacted due to the COVID-19 crisis as committed CODs will potentially be affected, by construction delays, and PPA deliveries could be impacted by permitting delays.

Stimulus Package & Economic Support

Very limited plans for stimulus have been announced to provide liquidity for micro & SMEs and general population. The Mexican Wind Energy Association (AMDEE) is working in coordination with the Mexican Business Council to lobby potential stimulus for the SME and general fiscal stimulus.

Resources

Impact on Workforce

South Africa went into a 21-day national lockdown beginning on the 27 March 2020, and has extended this lockdown now until the end of April. As a result of the lockdown measures, one wind tower manufacturing facility has been closed and only critical maintenance of the operational wind farms is considered an essential service during the lockdown.

Status of Wind Projects

Energy demand in South Africa has dropped drastically during the lockdown. As a result, Eskom – the national power utility in South Africa – issued notices of intention to curtain wind power in order to stabilise the power system, considering that wind is peaking in the early morning during low demand periods. Because  of this, Eskom is claiming Force Majeure and refusing to pay power generators. The South African Wind Energy Association is currently in talks with Eskom on this issue.

Projects currently under construction have been declared non-essential, therefore sites have closed and construction has been halted during the lockdown period. There are twelve projects currently under construction, totalling 1.4 GW of capacity. The closure of borders has also been an obstacle to import components. However, most projects under construction are close to COD with most equipment already procured and delivered. Therefore while there are delays, impact is minimal.

It is possible the the CODs for projects under construction may be pushed out to later dates due to the lockdown period.

Furthermore, the wind industry is awaiting an announcement for a new procurement round by the end of 2020. Considering the uncertainty with regards to COVID-19, a delay is expected. The Integrated Resource Plan is already approved by the government, and process is underway to determine the capacities to be procured.

Stimulus Package & Economic Support

A stimulus package has not been decided yet by the South African government, but the renewables industry is getting ready to make submissions to the government by positioning wind energy as a key sector to revive the economy post-COVID-19.

Resources

Impact on Workforce

The measures for lockdown in Spain were put in place on the 14 March when the government declared a atate of emergency to containt COVID-19 or Pandemia. The act guarantees the supply of food and promotes measures for social distance, while allowing movement for basic needs and “critical operators”, to take all the necessary measures (which includes labour force mobility) to ensure the supply of the “essential services” , in which the infrastructures of the energy sector are included. 

The measures for social distancing have been escalated on the 28 March, locking down all “non-essential supply industry” after 30 March. This does not effect activities related to ensure electricity supply as it is considered an essential service.

The wind power fleet in Spain, over 25GW and providing over 20 per cent of the country’s electricity supply in 2019, is full operational. Some operators are reinforcing their teams to ensure healthy labour management.

On 29 March, the government decided to ban all non-essential work for two weeks, from 30 March to 9 April, in a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19. To comply with the strict regulation, more than 15 wind turbine or component production facilities located in Spain have been temporarily suspended by large European turbine manufacturers including Siemens Gamesa (SGRE), Nordex Acciona, Vestas and GE/LM.

After the two-weeks ban on non-essential work was lifted, activities in the industrial and construction sectors were resumed in Spain. According to SGRE, after the Easter break, their production facilities in Spain have resumed normal activity. In addition, Vestas confirmed that their generator production facility located in Viveiro restarted full production on 13 April and their blade factory in Daimiel nearly reached the full utilisation rate.  

As Spain is one of Europe’s largest wind manufacturing bases as well as the home for major turbine producers Siemens Gamesa, Nordex Acciona and many other large component suppliers, GWEC believes that returning to business in the industrial and construction sectors in Spain is good news for both the domestic wind market, with1.5 GW expected to be built in 2020 according to our pre-COVID forecasts, and international wind market and supply chain.

 

Status of Wind Projects

2019 was a record year for wind energy installations in Spain, the country is therefore in a substantially favourable position to address the impact of the delays arising from the lock down in the supply chain. This is because the majority of projects still under development are not subject to completion COD, as it was in the case of recent existing operational capacity directly related to previous auctions.

There are still a number of administrative procedures related to grid access and connection rights assignment that have been suspended as the Emergency Decree has declared the suspension of the conditions  and interruption of deadlines for administrative proceedings under way.

On 4 April, the Spanish government announced that the nation-wide lockdown will now last at least 45 days (until at least 25 April at midnight), however, the ban of non-essential activities established on 29 March  will end on April 9, thus it is expected that the whole wind value chain will be able to resume activities, including manufacturing in addition to O&M and Construction from 10 April 10 onwards, bearing in mind that the Easter break starts on the 10 April.    

After connecting 2.3 GW onshore wind in 2019, the country is expected to bring another 1.5 GW online this year in order to meet the deadline of reaching its 2020 renewable energy target. The Spanish government has recently (31 March 2020) submitted its 2030 National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP), raising the country’s ambitions on greenhouse gas emission reduction to 23% compared to 1990 level. Spain is a powerhouse for renewable energy deployment with 25,7 gigawatts (GW) of total installed wind capacity. In 2019 Spain was Europe’s leading market for onshore wind. The PNIEC forecasts additional 22GW to be added to the energy mix coming from onshore but also offshore wind by 2030.

Stimulus Package & Economic Support

There are no specific measures taken for economic relief of the wind industry, however wider economic measures to support businesses, employees and employers can be relevant for the wind industry such as:

  • Protection for jobs: The raft of measures designed to strengthen job protection aim to prioritise the suspension of contracts and reduction of working days as an option prior to dismissing workers. Temporary adjustments to the workforce will be managed through the Temporary Job Regulation Programmes (Spanish acronym: ERTES). The ERTES caused by the COVID-19 crisis will be considered as a force majeure.
  • Liquidity of companies: The government has approved the creation of a line of public guarantees totalling 100 billion euros, which will allow between 150-200 billion euros to be released into the economy when including the private sector. The public authorities will help contractors mitigate the consequences of COVID-19 in public sector contracts. The government has also reformed the law on foreign investment to prevent companies from outside of the European Union taking control of Spanish businesses in strategic sectors, by taking advantage of the temporary drop in the value of their shares.

Resources

Impact on Workforce

Electricity industry is categorised as a “critical sector” during the COVID-19 emergency. This means that workers in the sector can continue to fulfil their roles, and the industry is working with the UK government to develop health & safety guidelines in order to ensure that workers have minimal risk to COVID-19 exposure.

Status of Wind Projects

On 23 March, the Crown Estate announced that it revised its 7GW offshore wind leasing round schedule due to COVID-19. The first stage of the invitation to tender (ITT) will be open at the end of March, the week commencing March 30, while the submission window will be extended from seven to ten weeks.

Stimulus Package & Economic Support

No specific measures in place for the wind sector, however other economic relief measures in place for businesses in general that could apply to the wind industry such as: Job Retention Scheme; Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme; COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility; deferring VAT payments until June 2020.

Resources

Impact on Workforce

Social distancing measures in place means that many companies have imposed travel restrictions, telework and other measures to protect their employees, but these measures vary in degree of impact on a state-to-state level. The status of key segments of the wind industry such  construction, manufacturing, transportation, permitting, monitoring, O&M and logistics are decided at the state-level.

EH&S Sub-Committee is currently developing a general health & safety wind industry pandemic guidance document which will encompass operations, construction, transportation logistics, manufacturing and training. It will cover different perspectives including that of: owners, contractors, OEMS, ISPs, & consultants.

Driven by parts and material delays directly caused by COVID-19 impacts on its international suppliers, Siemens Gamesa made the difficult decision on 6 April to furlough 100 employees at the Fort Madison, Iowa, facility and about 200 employees at the Hutchinson, Kansas facilities. At this point, SGRE anticipates this challenging situation will last three or four weeks, but as the world’s number two wind turbine OEM, it is doing everything they can to restore the supply chain as quickly as possible.  According to SGRE, the full operations will be resumed as soon as supplies become available. 

SGRE was the third largest turbine supplier in the US wind market with 16 per cent market share for new installations in 2019 and with more than 4 GW under construction or in advanced development. The disruption caused by the COVID-19 on production in its two US facilities is likely to impact its forecasted delivery plan in the US market this year.

Status of Wind Projects

Most developers have now received force majeure notices from component suppliers stating that deliveries may be delayed. This will impact the construction and project development timelines, with the potential risk that projects with not meet their placed-in-service deadlines thus putting PTC eligibility at risk. 

Other factors causing delays of project development include permitting delays, public hearing cancelations, interconnect queue delays, land-lease negoitation delays, as well as financing uncertainty due to the doubt surrounding safe harbour and PTC/ITC extensions. 

Stimulus Package & Economic Support

The phase three stimulus package in place by the US administration does not include tax credit extensions or direct pay provisions for wind or other renewables, but sources for GWEC Market Intelligence believe that the wind industry will be included in some capacity in the phase four stimulus package.

The wind industry in the US is calling on the phase four stimulus package to include provisions such as extending the PTC/ITC continuity safe harbor from four to six years for projects commencing construction after 31 December 2015 as well as securing a direct pay provision equal to 100% of the PTC/ITC value to address potential decreases in the availability of tax equity.

Under IRS Guidance, Technical Implications of PTC/ITC  to incur gap in continuous construction ; i)“Facts and circumstances” test or ii) “Excusable disruptions” clause. AWEA is seeking means to mitigate these potential impacts as unavailability of tax equity could adversely affect for projects seeking to qualify for PTC/ITC.

Measures such as lifting the Section 301 tariffs on  List 3 for a number of wind energy-related product codes and extending the PTC/ITC for companies unable to start construction at the end of 2020 and beyond due to delays caused by COVID-19 are also being called for by the wind industry as part of a broader economic stimulus.

Resources

Impact on Workforce

There is currently no mandatory quarantine in place in Uruguay, citizens are simply encouraged to stay at home if they don’t need to leave their home. However citizens over the age of 65 years should not go out in any circumstance, and they are relieved of any obligation outside their homes.

As a result, there has not been any major interruptions to the domestic supply chain. Manufaturing facilities continue to operate as usual along with other segments of the supply such as O&M services and infrastructure with health & safety measures in place to limit the spread of the virus.

Uruguay has closed its borders to foreigners due to the COVID-19 crisis, which may impact companies engaged in international business.

Status of Wind Projects

There are currently no wind farms under construction in Uruguay, thus the COVID-19 crisis is not impacting any potential projects. Uruguay’s electricity supply is already 100% renewable, and the supply of wind energy to the grid has not been impacted by the crisis as it is considered an essential service.

Stimulus Package & Economic Support

Financial resources have been mobilised by the Uruguayan government to address the crisis, but none specific to the energy sector.

Relevant relief measures for wind businesses in Uruguay include:

  • Loan payments for businesses affected by the crisis are deferred for up to 180 days;
  • Loans for SMEs will be expanded from US$50 million to US$500 million;
  • BROU, the country’s largest commercial bank, will extend soft loans to enterprises.

Resources

Impact on Workforce

On 31 March, Vietnam’s Prime Minister announced a nation-wide lockdown for two weeks as they combat the ‘second save’ of COVID-19. On 15 April, the Prime Minister announced that the lockdown will continue in 12 ‘high risk’ cities and provinces until 22 April. The ‘medium and low-risk’ cities and provinces will continue to implement social distancing measures to limit the spread of the virus.

While construction work is not allowed in some provinces during this time, there has not been any domestic manufacturing facilities closed during this time. However, Vietnam does rely on its neighbouring countries for its wind supply chain therefore delays in receiving components for projects is expected.

Borders remain closed for all foreigners entering Vietnam until further notice.

Status of Wind Projects

On 9 April 2020, Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) filed a report to the Prime Minister’s office proposing an extension for the wind Feed-in Tariff (FiT) that was set to expire in November 2021.  The key points of MOIT’s extension recommendation include:

  • Extend the period of the fixed Feed-in Tariff for wind power projects in Decision 39 to 31 December 2023.
  • Assign MOIT to propose to the Prime Minister a new Feed-in Tariff for wind power projects having commercial operation date from 1 November 2021 until the end of 31 December, 2023.
  • After 2023, wind power projects will be awarded through an auctioning mechanism.

The report cited several reasons for FiT extension, such as power shortages due to the delayed installation of some of the natural gas and coal projects, planning law impacts, the long construction timeline of wind projects, as well as the COVID-19 impact on the wind industry.

The GWEC Asia Team and South East Asia Task Force were pleased to hear this news after engaging with the MOIT over the past few weeks. Highlighting the impact of COVID-19 was especially important in the realisation of this proposal, as GWEC was the first organisation to present a full analysis of the impact on the wind industry to the MOIT to better highlight how the health crisis would impact supply chain, meeting project deadlines, and securing investor confidence. This is an important example that other governments can look to in order to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the wind industry and ensure that projects can continue to be developed without major penalties post-COVID-19.

According to GWEC Market Intelligence, Vietnam has a cumulative installed wind power capacity of over 487 MW by the end of 2019, making it the second largest wind market in South East Asia. Due to strong flows of foreign and domestic investors into Vietnam’s wind sector, the market is predicted to install approximately 4 GW of additional wind capacity by 2025, of which at least 1 GW will be offshore wind. GWEC believes a strong political commitment such as the FiT extension will be necessary to ensure steady growth of wind energy in Vietnam’s power system, to offer the prospect of a more competitive, cleaner, and more secure energy pathway.

Stimulus Package & Economic Support

Currently no measures specific to the wind industry, however, other relevant measures include:

  • Reduction and extension of tax obligations for SMEs
  • Local banks to reduce interest
  • EVN to reduce power prices by 10 per cent over next three months

Resources

GWEC will be holding regular Webcasts to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the wind sector to provide you with the most up-to-date information at both the global and country-level as the situation evolves. These Webcasts are free for everyone to join, see the library of webcasts along with registration links to our upcoming Webcasts below.

Upcoming Webcasts

Past Webcasts

  • About the Response Hub
  • Impact on Wind Energy Policy and Regulation
  • Impact in Global Supply Chain
  • Country Updates
  • Webcasts

GWEC’s COVID-19 response hub has been set up to coordinate information and responses to the current pandemic, across the global wind energy sector. The hub gathers information from GWEC’s corporate members who are involved in supply chain manufacturing and project execution, national and regional associations, governments, international institutions, analysts and the press.

The aim of the Hub is to facilitate coordination and assistance to national associations and companies by sharing information, and making available best practice from across the world in terms of making sure we can continue to operate (safely) as an industry, and that the wind sector’s critical contribution to economic activities and growth is understood by policymakers.

The Hub will also monitor economic stimulus packages that are being designed or rolled out around the world, to help ensure that the wind sector is being fully consulted and taken into consideration. It is vitally important that we see green stimulus plans emerging in order to ensure sustainable economic growth post-COVID. It is also vital to ensure that momentum is not lost on the crucial issue of climate change in the context of a future economic bounce back.

GWEC and its partners will carry out a series of activities based around the Hub, including:

  • Weekly COVID-19 bulletin;
  • Monthly Webcast featuring expert insight from across different regions, sectors and institutions;
  • Policy coordination and providing information on best practice regulation from across the world, helping local associations and companies to understand this and incorporate into their discussions with government;
  • Position statements to enhance engagement around stimulus packages as these come into focus in different countries and regions.

Your support and engagement is vital. Please contact [email protected] for more information

GWEC is engaging with the industry and national associations globally to assess the impacts that the COVID-19 crisis will have on the wind energy industry including economic relief and stimulus packages to mitigate the impact of the crisis, extension of crucial policies such as Feed-in-Tariffs, tax credits, construction deadlines and auction rounds, as well as health and safety regulation to ensure that the global wind industry workforce is protected during this time as they are on the frontlines continuing to power our society.

It is crucial that the energy transition remains a top priority for all policymakers during this time, and that the right policies and regulations are in place so that the wind and other renewable industries can emerge from this crisis stronger than ever.

 

Policy and Regulatory Updates

[27/05/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: Green Deal to drive EU recovery effort

To ensure the recovery is “sustainable, even, inclusive and fair” for all Member States, the European Commission has proposed a new recovery instrument, Next Generation EU, embedded within a revamped long-term EU budget valued at €1.1tn between 2021-2027. Through Next Generation EU the Commission will borrow €750bn on the financial markets bringing the “total financial firepower” of the EU budget to €1.85tn. The Strategic Investment Facility will invest in key technologies for the clean energy transition, such as renewable and energy storage technologies, clean hydrogen, batteries, carbon capture and storage and sustainable energy infrastructure, said the Commission. The Commission will also release proposals to boost uptake of offshore renewable energy and to better integrate the energy system.

[21/05/2020 – The Washington Post] The Energy 202: Oil wells on federal lands got a break on payments. Renewables got big past-due bills

The Trump administration is giving some oil and gas producers drilling on federal lands a break on payments to the government due to the coronavirus crisis – while issuing bills to renewables. It’s reducing royalty payments and suspending leases for oil and gas companies in response to the viral outbreak, which has rocked energy markets so hard the price of a crucial U.S. oil benchmark actually traded below $0 last month. But as Will Englund and I report, wind and solar producers facing their own coronavirus head winds just received retroactive rent bills for their work on public lands.

[20/05/2020 – Bloomberg Green] World’s Greenest Coronavirus Recovery Package Arriving in Europe

European Commission President Ursula Von Den Leyen is set to transform her Green Deal strategy to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, into a coronavirus economic rescue plan that’ll rapidly drive private investment and create jobs across the continent, according to a draft document with details of the proposal seen by Bloomberg. The plan is part of the package that the EU executive will unveil on May 27 for the bloc’s jointly financed response to the pandemic-induced recession. The package will include a proposal for the EU’s next trillion-euro budget for the years 2021-2027 and a “recovery instrument” of at least half-a-trillion euros specifically designed to cushion the economic blow from the outbreak.

[20/05/2020 – The Guardian]Wrong signal:Norfolk coast windfarm planning delayed by up to five months

“The government has delayed the planning process for a major new windfarm off the Norfolk coast because of the coronavirus lockdown, with its developer to warning the move could “send the wrong signal” to the renewables industry. The delay comes amid an increase in calls from energy economists, business groups and energy companies for the UK to commit to a green economic recovery after the coronavirus crisis.”

[20/05/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: New renewables capacity to ‘fall 13%’

“The IEA’s ‘Renewable Market Update’ report, said the new installed renewables capacity will drop 13% this year to 167GW as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. It said projected decline reflects possible delays in construction activity due to supply chain disruptions, lockdown measures and social distancing guidelines, as well as emerging financing challenges. But, the overall global renewable power capacity will grow by 6% in 2020. IEA added that growth in new capacity is expected to resume in 2021 as most of the delayed projects come online and “assuming a continuation of supportive government policies”.”

[19/05/2020 – Bloomberg Law] Companies Worth $2 Trillion Are Calling for a Green Recovery

A group of companies worth a combined $2.4 trillion have added their voice to a growing chorus calling for the economic recovery from the coronavirus to be green. Adobe Inc., Unilever NV and more than 150 other companies have signed a statement asking officials to ensure their response to the pandemic is “grounded in bold climate action” and to prioritize moving to “a green economy by aligning policies and recovery plans with the latest climate science.”

[19/05/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: Lower demand hits renewables revenues

Sharp decline in British renewable generator revenues has been caused since the country’s COVID-19 lockdown resulted in a significant decline in wholesale prices. According to analysis by research firm Cornwall Insight Solar PV captured prices were, on average, 8.4% and 14.9% below baseload levels in March and April, respectively, it said. and for wind, prices were 8.2% and 15.5% below baseload levels on average.

[18/05/2020 – Reuters] Coronavirus widens climate rift between European and U.S. oil majors

Europe’s top oil and gas companies have diverted a larger share of their cash to green energy projects since the coronavirus outbreak in a bet the global health crisis will leave a long-term dent in fossil fuel demand, according to a Reuters review of company statements and interviews with executives. The plans of companies like BP (BP.L), Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) and Total (TOTF.PA) are in step with the European Union’s efforts to transition to a lower-carbon economy and away from a century-old reliance on oil, and reflect the region’s widening rift with the United States where both the government and the top drillers are largely staying committed to oil and gas. Europe’s top five producers – BP, Shell, Total, Eni (ENI.MI), and Equinor (EQNR.OL) – are all focusing their investment cuts mainly on oil and gas activities, and giving their renewables and low carbon businesses a relative boost, according to Reuters calculations.

[18/05/2020 – abcNEWS] Mexico cites virus in slapping down renewable energy

The Mexican government has cited the coronavirus pandemic as a justification for new rules that will reduce the role of renewable energies like solar and wind power, granting a reprieve to the government’s own ageing, fossil-fuel power plants. “This represents a frontal attack on legal security for investments in Mexico, and causes serious consequences for the country, including the loss of jobs and investor confidence,” Mexico’s Business Coordinating Council wrote Sunday. The council cited $30 billion in affected investments, noting “this does not just discriminate against renewable energy, it also allows authorities to artificially inflate the price of electricity in the country and arbitrarily displace any private sector power generation project.”

[18/05/2020 – Reuters] Trump admin slaps solar, wind operators with retroactive rent bills

The Trump administration has ended a two-year rent holiday for solar and wind projects operating on federal lands, handing them whopping retroactive bills at a time the industry is struggling with the fallout of the coronavirus outbreak, according to company officials. The move represents a multi-million-dollar hit to an industry that has already seen installation projects canceled or delayed by the global health crisis, which has cut investment and dimmed the demand outlook for power. A budget document on the Interior Department’s web site shows it expects to collect $50 million in rent fees for wind and solar projects in 2020, up from $1.1 million in 2019 and $21.6 million in 2018.

[15/05/2020 – reNEWS]  COVID-19: Germany extends project delivery deadlines

The German parliament has amended the country’s renewable energy law to extend deadlines by six months for completing subsidised projects to help ensure the success of the energy transition during the Covid-19 pandemic. A six-month extension has also been granted for projects to comply with technical regulations for power generation plants that would otherwise have to go into operation by 30 June. Federal economics minister Peter Altmaier (pictured) said: “With the amendments to the law, we are ensuring that the corona pandemic does not lead to delays in the energy transition. “With the Planning Assurance Act, we ensure that important planning and approval procedures, such as in the expansion of the power grid, can be carried out quickly even during the corona pandemic. “With the legal changes in the field of renewable energies, we also ensure that the current restrictions and delays do not have a negative impact on market participants.”

[13/05/2020 – News24:fin24] Coronavirus: Mantashe issues guidelines for energy, petroleum sectors

The construction of renewable energy power plants and Eskom’s new build programme which includes power stations Medupi and Kusile, will officially be allowed during lockdown, according to guidelines issued by Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe. As per the directions, civil engineering for public works projects are allowed and apply to those under the renewable energy independent power producer programme, the Eskom new build programme and liquid petroleum gas projects, among others. Notably, all contracted suppliers, contractors and consultants who need to travel across borders to attend to projects, can now do so. Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter previously told Parliament that contractors required from abroad to assist in maintenance of some plants could not travel to South Africa due to the lockdown.

[13/05/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: BEIS proposes changes to CfD obligations

“The UK government is seeking views on a proposal to defer increases on electricity suppliers’ obligations under Contract for Difference rules because of the impact of the Covid-19 virus. BEIS said the consultation is looking for comment on plans to defer the “2021 quarter 1 part” of the increase that “would otherwise be collected by LCCC (Low Carbon Contracts Company) in July for the current second quarter of 2020”. Implementation of the proposal requires changes to the CfD Electricity Supplier Obligation Regulations 2014, BEIS said. The government said it had been been advised by LCCC that as a “result of lower electricity demand, resulting from measures introduced to reduce the spread of Covid-19, and higher payments to CfD generators because of lower wholesale electricity prices, electricity suppliers would have faced an unexpected increase in their obligations for the second quarter of 2020”. The government said that this is in response to the “truly exceptional circumstances” of COVID-19.”

[12/05/2020 – ETEnergyworld] Mineral production to soar as demand for clean energy increases: World Bank

A new World Bank Group report shows that production of minerals like graphite, lithium and cobalt could increase by nearly 500 per cent by 2050 to meet the growing demand for clean energy technologies. It estimates that over three billion tonnes of minerals and metals will be needed to deploy wind, solar and geothermal power as well as energy storage required for achieving a below two degrees celsius future. “”COVID-19 could represent an additional risk to sustainable mining, making the commitment of governments and companies to climate-smart practices more important than ever before,”” said Riccardo Puliti, World Bank Global Director for Energy and Extractive Industries and Regional Director for Infrastructure in Africa.

[12/05/2020 – reNEWS] German wind industry bullish despite COVID-19

A WindEnergy trend:index (WEtix) survey of 1,100 market players carried out between March and April this year revealed views of both the onshore and offshore wind industry that are more positive compared to those measured last November. “The wind industry can play a significant role in supporting the post-COVID-19 relaunch of the economy while lending credibility to the Chancellor’s ambitious climate protection goals,” said president of German wind association PWE Hermann.

[07/05/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: Beinn an Tuirc 3 construction resumes

ScottishPower Renewables has restarted construction of the 50MW Beinn an Tuirc 3 wind project after the Scottish government updated guidelines on essential construction work during the country’s COVID-19 lockdown. It had restarted work at the 14 turbine extension in South Kintyre in a phased manner yesterday with main construction work beginning from next week.

[06/05/2020 – ETEnergyworld] COVID-19: Renewable power generation remains unaffected amid lockdown, says report

Amid the COVID-19 lockdown, renewable power generation remained unaffected due to their ‘must-run’ status while electricity from thermal sources were impacted most due to a decline in power demand in March and April 2020, according to a recent report by Indian Ratings. It added that with the decrease in demand, electricity generation — excluding renewables — also decreased 8.8 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) to 97.7 billion units (BU) in March 2020 with thermal generation declining 11.1 per cent y-o-y.

[06/05/2020 – ETEnergyworld] COVID-19: Post-crisis clean energy progress will need reliable supplies of critical minerals, says IEA

The global clean energy sector would require a reliable supply of critical minerals to continue a smooth progress after the COVID-19 crisis, according to a recent study by the International Energy Agency (IEA). Clean energy technologies generally require more minerals than fossil fuel-based counterparts. An onshore wind plant requires eight times as much minerals as a gas-fired plant of the same capacity. As a result of the COVID-19 global lockdown, Peru’s copper-mining activities, which are responsible for 12 per cent of global production, ground to a halt. While, South Africa’s lockdown disrupted 75 per cent of the global output of platinum, a key material in many clean energy technologies and emissions control devices, although the country later allowed mines to operate at 50 per cent capacity, the study added.

[06/05/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: Wind is ‘key building block’ for economic recovery

The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and multinational players in the industry have published a statement highlighting how wind energy is central to economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19. The statement calls on governments, intergovernmental bodies, and global lending institutions, and suggests key actions policy makers can take to put wind energy investment at the centre of their economic recovery and growth plans.

[06/05/2020 – Public News Service] Pandemic Hits Iowa’s Wind Energy Industry Hard

According to one trade group, Iowa has more than 9,000 wind-energy jobs. According to a research firm, the United States lost more than 100,000 renewable-energy jobs in March, with more than 1,000 in Iowa. One of the state’s two U.S. senators, Republican Charles Grassley, is working with a bipartisan group of lawmakers to protect stalled projects from losing their federal tax-credit status. The lawmakers are urging the Treasury Department to extend provisions that would allow them to still qualify. Hensley said it’s frustrating to see any progress for clean energy hit a roadblock. He said 2020 was supposed to be a banner year for wind energy, but a lot has changed in recent weeks. Late last month, a wind-turbine manufacturing plant in Iowa was forced to close temporarily after at least two dozen workers tested positive for COVID-19.

[02/05/2020 – ETEnergyworld] Ensure uninterrupted electricity supply to consumers: PM Narendra Modi to power sector

Amid the coronavirus crisis, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday asked officials to work towards ensuring round-the-clock supply of power to all consumers. At a meeting to review the power sector and the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on it, he also discussed various long-term reforms for enhancing sustainability, resilience, and efficiency of the sector, an official release said to ET.

[29/04/2020 – Bloomberg Green] Nations Must Promote ‘Green Recovery’ From Virus, IMF Chief Says

“Taking measures now to fight the climate crisis is not just a ‘nice-to-have,’ it is a ‘must-have’ if we are to leave a better world for our children,” she said in prepared remarks to be delivered at the Petersberg Climate Dialogue Wednesday. The IMF’s fiscal affairs department recommends nations mandate commitments to reduce carbon emissions when they provide financial lifelines to companies that are carbon-intensive, adding that record-low oil prices make this an opportune time to phase out subsidies. and many more..

[29/04/2020 – WindPower Monthly] Europe’s green deal on hold while ‘the worst turbines are on the best sites’

WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson has argued for a massive expanse in the repowering of onshore wind farms as the only conceivable way of meeting the European Union’s goals for the power switch from fossil fuels to renewables.

[29/04/2020 – ETEnergyworld]  World has historic opportunity for green technology boost: IEA

Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), said support from governments could drive rapid growth in battery and hydrogen technology to help the world to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels. “I believe there is an opportunity – and I call it an historic opportunity here,” Birol, an economist who took the helm of the Paris-based IEA in 2015, told Reuters.”The big time is about to come, but they need a push,” he said, adding that the economic stimulus packages being delivered worldwide offer an ideal vehicle for change.

[29/04/2020 – AWEA] US Wind Industry Delivers Strong First Quarter

Despite uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, the U.S. wind industry experienced a strong start to the year, with the first three months of 2020 seeing record construction and power purchasing activity. The US wind industry installed over 1,800 MW of new wind power capacity in the first quarter, while the volume of projects under construction set a new record, according to the newly released Wind Powers America First Quarter Report 2020. The American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) report reveals that U.S. project developers installed more than double the amount of wind capacity in the first three months of 2020 than in the first quarter of 2019. Developers also started construction on 4,124 MW of wind power, bringing total construction activity to 24,690 MW.

[28/04/2020 – Business Line] In post-Covid-19 times, renewable energy to face stiff competition from fossil fuels

The lessons learnt by countries using significant amounts of renewable energy are important for India, which is set to announce a bailout package for the power sector shortly. Faced with the herculean task of restarting and reviving their economies, many major countries are going backwards on their promises to promote RE. Some energy-rich economies are even relaxing environmental restrictions. Coal mining and coal-power are getting renewed support in countries where it is a prominent source of energy or export revenue.

[28/04/2020 – reNEWS]  COVID-19: N Ireland relaxes planning rules

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon (pictured) said the pre-application community consultation step will be suspended for five months from 1 May due the pandemic. The measure will affect the submission of onshore wind projects in the province. Guidance is to be issued to applicants on alternatives and developers will still need to comply with other consenting requirements to ensure notification and feedback to locals affected by projects.

[28/04/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: Offshore wind ‘can be star of recovery’

The CDU politician, speaking ahead of a meeting with EU energy ministers, singled out the European Green Deal as playing a particularly important role. “It can become an important growth strategy if we specifically incentivise investments in new technologies and advance them in such a way that we increase our competitiveness and secure jobs,” he said. “I see great potential here, for example, in joint wind offshore projects between the EU member states, in the area of ​​hydrogen, and in investments in energy efficiency and renewable heat.” Germany will take the EU presidency for the second half of the year and Altmaier has made the growth of offshore wind a priority.

[27/04/2020 – reNEWS] Covid-19: RWE recognises first responders in the US

RWE Renewables has committed $250,000 to over 45 US organisations where the company is operating, constructing or developing assets to assist in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Donations cover 11 states and target organisations, such as first responders, regional and local food banks and food pantries, social services for senior citizens and local schools with student food programmes.
The company said it reached out to state and local officials across its footprint to identify community needs. RWE Renewables chief operating officer onshore wind and solar PV Americas Silvia Ortin (pictured) said: “We are grateful for the selfless dedication of first responders and healthcare professionals in the communities where RWE is working.

[25/04/2020 – WIRED] Covid-19 Is Pulling the Plug on Clean Energy Jobs

According to E2, a clean-energy advocacy group that commissioned the analysis, “clean energy” is a vast sector that employed nearly 3.4 million Americans in 2019. It includes more than 2 million jobs in energy efficiency, like weatherizing houses and manufacturing Energy Star appliances; half a million jobs in renewable energy, including solar, wind, hydropower, and geothermal; more than 250,000 jobs building hybrid and electric vehicles; about 150,000 jobs in power grid modernization and installing energy storage for the grid; and another 40,000 jobs in biofuels like ethanol and biomass. In total, clean-energy workers outnumbered fossil fuel workers three to one last year. “It’s a huge and important part of our economy,” E2 executive director Bob Keefe told Grist. “Anything that Congress does to get our economy back on its feet and to get America working again should absolutely include a focus on an industry of that size.”

[25/04/2020 – Business Standard] Covid pandemic could fuel fresh interest in diaspora bonds: World Bank

The coronavirus pandemic and its devastating economic impact on developing countries could fuel fresh interest in so-called diaspora bonds that allow migrants to support their countries of origin, experts from the World Bank and other groups say. Dilip Ratha, the World Bank’s lead economist on migration and remittances, told Reuters that diaspora bonds could generate about $50 billion a year in total for developing countries, potentially helping to offset a sharp drop in foreign direct investment that is slated to fall by 37 per cent this year.

[24/04/2020 – The Asian Development Bank] ADB Approves $1.5 Billion Financing to Support the Philippines’ COVID-19 Response

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $1.5 billion loan to help the Philippine government fund its novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response program and strengthen the country’s health care system in its fight against the pandemic. “This assistance is our largest budget support loan to the Philippines ever and reflects our strong commitment to providing cornerstone assistance swiftly and effectively to help the country mitigate the pandemic’s devastating impact on Filipinos, particularly the poor and vulnerable, including women,” said ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa.

[24/04/2020 – UtilityDrive] Bipartisan senators ask Mnuchin to extend safe harbor deadlines for renewables projects

A group of bipartisan senators asked the Department of Treasury to extend safe harbor deadlines to ensure renewable energy developers are able to secure the tax credits they need to finance their projects. In order to qualify for the production tax credit (PTC) or the investment tax credit (ITC), project developers have to meet certain construction deadlines, but many in the industry are seeing lengthy project delays as a result of supply chain disruptions, workforce shortages and other COVID-19-related setbacks. Renewables advocates have been asking Congress to extend these provisions for weeks, citing the loss of potentially billions of dollars in investments if these projects are not able to proceed.

[24/04/2020 – Recharge] Global energy ministers plan green rebound from coronavirus – without China and US

Energy ministers from some of the world’s largest economies on Friday linked for an unprecedented global summit over how to put renewables at the centre of post-coronavirus recovery plans. Danish climate & energy minister Dan Jørgensen claimed after the meeting that the “contours of a green coalition” had emerged from the 23-strong videoconference. The global clean energy sector is pushing hard for massive economic revival plans being drawn up by governments to focus on a ‘green stimulus’ that turns the damage done by the pandemic into an opportunity to make progress in the climate fight – rather than throwing recovery cash at fossil and other ‘dying’ industries.

[23/04/2020 – reNEWS] EU recovery ‘must be green’

The EU Environment Committee said the bloc must “remain firm” on climate change and the timetable for the Climate Law, despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The European Parliament Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety made the point during a debate on the Green Deal and pending law with European Commission executive vice-president Frans Timmermans. Recently Parliament called on the Commission to propose a recovery and reconstruction package that “should have at its core the Green Deal and the digital transformation in order to kick start the economy”.

[23/04/2020 – European Bank for Reconstruction and Development] EBRD launches Vital Infrastructure Support Programme

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has launched an emergency support programme for infrastructure providers across its emerging economies to ensure the provision of vital services despite acute pressure from the coronavirus pandemic. Part of its overall Solidarity Package response to Covid-19, will focus on both ensuring service provision immediately and protecting progress in its regions towards the provision of green, sustainable infrastructure. The VISP initiative contains three financing tools: Working capital lines to municipalities and utilities, Stabilisation facilities for key infrastructure providers, Investment financing for public sector clients.

[23/04/2020 – NYSERDA] NYSERDA Offshore Wind 2020 Solicitation Update

COVID-19 crisis has acutely affected New York’s clean energy industry from a human resource, project development, and financial perspective. Today, in response to a Petition filed by NYSERDA in January 2020, the New York State Public Service Commission granted authority for NYSERDA to issue a 2020 solicitation for at least 1,000 megawatts of offshore wind. While NYSERDA fully supports and is poised to execute on this authorization, given the current circumstances, it feels issuing a near-term solicitation would not be responsible nor advisable.

[23/04/2020 – reNEWS] Merchant projects to bear brunt of power price dip

According to a new study from Aurora Energy Research report: ‘The impact of COVID-19 on European power markets’, found revenues in the 2020-2021 period for renewable energy power plants are expected to fall 30-50% across several markets. The analysis covers markets including France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Spain and Italy. Already day-ahead power prices have fallen by 30-40% in many EU countries, since the COVID-19 lockdown began. Wind, solar backed by FiTs or CfDs will be protected from coronavirus-related reduction in rates.

[23/04/2020 – ETEnergyworld] COVID-19: Power ministry asks states to allow construction activities in power plants, smooth functioning of transmission network

As per an order from the Ministry of Home Affairs, select activities have been allowed with effect from 20 April, 2020 during the nation-wide lockdown.
“Construction of all kinds of industrial projects in rural areas, that is outside the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities have been allowed to be carried out with effect from 20th April, 2020. This is also applicable for ongoing construction activities in thermal and hydro power generation projects outside the limits of urban local bodies,” the ministry said. It has also asked for allowing intrastate and interstate movement of construction material, equipment, spares, consumables etc for under construction power projects. The ministry has written to states to ensure smooth operation of transmission network and also to allow laying and erection of transmission lines.

[22/04/2020 – ETEnergyworld] Covid-19: 150 GW renewable energy projects at risk in Asia Pacific

If the coronavirus outbreak evolves into a financial crisis and recession extends beyond 2020, funding may be harder to secure, leading to reduced competitiveness of renewables and up to 150 GW of wind and solar power projects across the Asia Pacific could be delayed or cancelled over the next five years (2020–24). This is equivalent to pushing back the Asia Pacific renewables construction pipeline by nearly two years, according to research and consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie. It was added that the coming months will be crucial to determine if the region is moving towards a rapid recovery or extended recession future. “Key indicators to monitor include power demand growth, credit terms for renewables projects, cost competition between renewables and fossil fuels and government support including stimulus for renewables markets.”

[21/04/2020 – IOL] Virus leaves South Africa’s green energy plans in disarray

Economic growth and energy demand are likely to remain muted for several years, casting doubts over when additional plants will be needed. Eskom, which was previously forced to implement rolling blackouts because its aging plants couldn’t deliver sufficient output, has already declared force majeure with wind-energy producers because it doesn’t need their output. And the government which pledged as recently as February to seek new bids from renewable suppliers has gone to ground on when that will happen. Eskom’s decision to renege on its contracts “really undermines the confidence and the trust that investors have” in the government’s commitment to source additional renewable energy, said, the country’s biggest specialist bond fund manager.

[21/04/2020 – Recharge] Covid-19 could cut global wind production capacity by 20% this year: WoodMac

Global wind power production capacity could be cut by up to a fifth this year as a result of Covid-19 restrictions, with ongoing measures set to make a return to earlier levels tricky, said analysts at Wood Mackenzie. Action taken by companies and ordered by governments as coronavirus sweeps around the world will reduce the industry’s total capacity by 15-20% in 2020. Wood Mackenzie identified blades as a main component facing particular challenges, with both manufacturing and raw material supplies under pressure.

[21/04/2020 – Press Information] MNRE Grants Blanket Extension for RE Projects amid Lockdown

With an aim to provide relief to renewable energy (RE) stakeholders amid lockdown due to Covid-19, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has granted an extension of time for RE projects equivalent to the period of lockdown plus 30 days additional blanket extension-there will be no requirement of case to case examination. And said that Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) will treat lockdown due to COVID-19, as Force Majeure .

[20/04/2020 – The Guardian] Green energy could drive Covid-19 recovery with $100tn boost

The International Renewable Energy Agency found that accelerating investment in renewable energy could generate huge economic benefits while helping to tackle the global climate emergency. Investing in renewable energy would deliver global GDP gains of $98tn above a business-as-usual scenario by 2050 by returning between $3 and $8 on every dollar invested. It would also quadruple the number of jobs in the sector to 42m over the next 30 years, and measurably improve global health and welfare scores, according to the report. The report also found that renewable energy could curb the rise in global temperatures by helping to reduce the energy industry’s carbon dioxide emissions by 70% by 2050 by replacing fossil fuels.

[20/04/2020 – ETEnergyworld ] Renewable energy companies unlikely to restart construction post April 20

Construction of renewable energy projects is among the activities that the ministry of home affairs has permitted resumption of from April 20, but developers maintained it will be a while before they can do so. Whether or not sufficient labour will return to the site is the biggest concern. There is a possibility of various layers of authorities entering the picture and attempting to interpret the guidelines, according to the developer. Activity may begin on those projects that are already close to commissioning. If a project is 80% done, it makes sense to get it across the line. If it hasn’t started, then it is more debatable as per a developer.

[20/04/2020 – Saur Energy International] COVID-19 Halts up to 3 GW of Wind, Solar Projects in Australia

The global COVID-19 pandemic has hit the renewables industry hard in Australia, postponing or cancelling the financial close of up to 3 gigawatts (GW) of projects according to a new assessment from Norwegian consultancy Rystad Energy. While Tilt and Goldwind will be most impacted in the utility wind segment. At the beginning of 2020, Rystad Energy expected that 2 to 3 GW worth of renewable projects would achieve Financial Close and begin construction this year, including 1.1 GW of wind and 1 to 2 GW of PV. At present, 530 MW of PV capacity and 210 MW of wind capacity has taken a financial close and has either already begun construction or will do so in 2020. The impact of COVID-19 on project economics will likely delay or cancel the financial close of the remaining projects.

[20/04/2020 – Puget Sound Business Journal] Opinion: Distressed supply chains uniquely impact renewable energy

As the global pandemic has affected manufacturing centers in India, Europe and the United States, as well as raw-materials centers in South America, while most American industries are impacted by supply chain disruptions, renewable energy development is uniquely impacted by delays this fiscal quarter. Many wind facilities must achieve placement in service (generally, operational readiness) this year to qualify for the maximum rate of the U.S. federal production tax credit without meeting onerous requirements to demonstrate that “continuous” efforts have been made to complete the facility. Internal Revenue Service guidance allaying timing concerns is urgently needed by the solar and wind industries, but to date there have been few whispers about this getting done in Washington, D.C. While it would be helpful to have guidance now, reassurance as late as May 31 would probably be sufficient to allay the worst fears of tax equity investors. There may also be a need for legislative action to ensure continued investments in this sector. The next looming issue is whether recent financial market events linked to the COVID-19 pandemic will dampen tax equity appetite, which was already expected to begin waning in the next couple of years.

[17/04/2020 – The Guardian] Coronavirus profiteers’ condemned as polluters gain bailout billions

Polluting industries around the world are using the coronavirus pandemic to gain billions of dollars in bailouts and to weaken and delay environmental protections. Economic and energy leaders say the unprecedented sums of money being committed to the global recovery are a historic opportunity to tackle the climate crisis and create a safer, more resilient, world. Ben Backwell, CEO at the Global Wind Energy Council, said some governments had extended commissioning deadlines for new wind farms, including those of India, Germany and Greece. “But so far no government has explicitly included stimulus packages specific to the wind and other renewable sectors. Much diplomatic effort went into brokering the OPEC+ deal to stabilise oil prices but the discussion needs to move on now to ensuring that renewable energy is at the centre of economic recovery plans.”

[17/04/2020 – REnews] COVID-19: UK wind farms could be ‘switched off’

National Grid has warned that it could ask UK power plants, including some wind farms, to switch off in order to avoid the network being overwhelmed with electricity as the Covid-19 pandemic hits demand. The UK network operator said there has been a 10% drop in power demand in recent weeks and this could rise to as much as 20% in the summer if the impact of the coronavirus continues.

[17/04/2020 – Recharge] Russian wind sector ‘damaged by quarantine’ without compensation

Russia’s nascent wind industry “was damaged by quarantine, declared mandatory days off without cost compensation and blockade of transport routes,” Igor Bryzgunov, president of the Russian wind industry federation (RAWI), told Recharge. Industry experts from local market players such as Rusnano, Vestas, or Windparks FRW, Bryzgunov said as a consequence of Russian measures to fight the coronavirus there may be a delay in the commissioning of wind farms under construction, and possibly equipment supplies. It is necessary to contact the market regulator with a request to give the opportunity to delay the commissioning of wind farms under construction without imposing fines and sanctions. Many non-Russians supervising turbine installation work simply could not come to the facilities as borders are closed. As the wider European wind sector may face losses, supply disruptions, price increases, and job losses, Russian market players may also have to fire hundreds of people, as per RAWI.

[16/04/2020 – The Economic Times] Coronavirus impact: Wheels turn to wean away factories from China

The Indian government held high-level meetings to set in motion a strategy to wean away manufacturing from China and fast-tracking efforts by tapping into palpable global anger against the Far East nation amid the Covid-19 outbreak. Countries such as Japan are already looking to diversify their manufacturing and supply chains to newer destination. Government is working to try and establish India as an alternate to China for manufacturing for local and global markets across sectors to spur employment, revenue and earn forex by making India an export hub. The Japanese government announced that it has earmarked $2.2 billion of its record economic stimulus package to help its manufacturers shift production out of China as the coronavirus disrupts supply chains between the major trading partners.

[15/04/2020 – ETEnergyworld] COVID-19: Govt allows construction of renewable energy projects in revised guidelines

The Ministry of Home Affairs has allowed the construction of renewable energy projects in its revised guidelines regarding lockdown measures to be taken by ministries and departments in a bid to contain the COVID-19 epidemic in the country. The guidelines were revised following the government’s decision to extend the lockdown period till 3 May, 2020.

[15/04/2020 – RenewableEnergy World] Clean energy job losses mount as COVID-19’s economic toll continues

The analysis of Department of Labor data found that 106,472 workers in clean energy occupations filed for unemployment benefits last month, wiping out all 2019 clean energy job gains across renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean vehicles, energy storage and clean fuels. These include electricians, HVAC and mechanical trades technicians and construction workers who work in energy efficiency; solar installers; wind industry engineers and technicians; and manufacturing workers employed by electric and other clean- vehicle manufacturing companies and suppliers. This is according to a new analysis of unemployment data released by E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs), the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), E4TheFuture and BW Research Partnership.

[15/04/2020 – ClimateHome News] Renewable energies under threat in 2020 from coronavirus, oil price slump

The International Energy Agency (IEA) said it is reviewing its October 2019 forecasts that 2020 will be a record year for additions of electricity generation capacity for solar, wind and other clean energies, as well as that total renewable-based power capacity will surge by 50% between 2019 and 2024. “There’s a chance that 2020 may not be a record,” said Heymi Bahar, IEA senior analyst of renewable energy markets and policy, told Climate Home News. “Every day we see something either about a new lockdown, or a resuming of some construction activity.”

[14/04/2020 – ETEnergyworld] COVID-19: MNRE to promote local manufacturing, export hubs for renewable energy

In a bid to minimise the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the heavily import-dependent domestic solar industry, “The ministry would provide full support to companies planning to expand or set-up bases in India for manufacturing and export of services in the renewable energy sector. All states and ports are requested to identify land parcels of 50-500 acres for setting up renewable energy manufacturing and export services hub,” said Anand Kumar, secretary, MNRE, in a twitter post recently.

[14/04/2020 – CNN] India’s Modi extends nationwide coronavirus lockdown until May 3

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended the country’s nationwide lockdown until May 3 in a bid to contain the continued spread of the coronavirus, but said that some states which have avoided outbreaks may be allowed to resume “important activities.”

[13/04/2020 – ETEnergyworld] India’s wind installation for 2020 likely to fall drastically

“BloombergNEF has lowered its expectation of how much wind energy capacity India will add in 2020 to 1.95GW from an earlier forecast of 2.56GW. BNEF cut down by 24% due to the 21-day nationwide lockdown and there is a further downside risk to its current forecast if the lockdown extends beyond April 14. It said “”almost all wind turbine makers and their part suppliers in India have shut their factories due to the lockdown.”””

[09/04/2020 – The World Bank] For Sub-Saharan Africa, Coronavirus Crisis Calls for Policies for Greater Resilience

According to a new World Bank regional economic analysis, economies in Sub-Saharan Africa could lose between $37 billion and $79 billion in output losses in 2020 due to COVID-19. The region could face a severe food security crisis, with agricultural production expected to contract between 2.6% and 7%. The report recommends a fiscal-policy approach with two primary objectives – to save lives and protect livelihoods and encourages African policymakers to think about the exit strategy from COVID-19.

[09/04/2020 – Recharge] UK moves to keep CfD Round 4 auction on track despite Covid-19 impact

Department for business, energy & industrial strategy responds to industry ‘stressing importance of maintaining delivery’ of renewables auction in 2021. The government is running a consultation round ahead of CfD4 which it says will close as planned on 22 May.

[08/04/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: Irish regulator may lift downtime penalties

Irish energy regulator CRU has signalled it may relax penalties for wind farm and other generators if projects have difficulty maintaining operations i.e. projects that face downtime over the inability of overseas suppliers, such as turbine manufacturers, to undertake maintenance or outage work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Officials are also open to supporting generators that fail to meet grid code compliance while movement is restricted. Consideration would include “the issue of penalties”, the CRU said in a guidance documents for the electricity industry.

[08/04/2020 – RenewablesNow] US reduces 2020 wind, solar installations forecast

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Tuesday trimmed its forecast for wind and solar capacity additions this year because of the coronavirus outbreak and the resulting economic slowdown. The agency now expects the US to install 19.4 GW of wind and 12.6 GW of utility-scale solar capacity in 2020, down by 5% and 10%, respectively, from its previous Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO). Renewables will remain the fastest-growing source of electricity generation for the year. EIA also expects a 3% decrease in electric power sector generation in the US. The output of coal-fired power plants is seen to drop by 20% from 2019, while renewable power and natural gas power will increase by 11% and 1%, respectively.

[08/04/2020 – reNEWS] New wind farm financing in Europe to face delays in 2020

Investment in new wind power projects in Europe fell almost 25 per cent to 19 billion euros ($20.7 billion) in 2019 compared to a year earlier and projects are likely to face financing delays this year, as per industry group WindEurope.
Its report said “Wind energy projects make an attractive investment and in the long-term there should be plenty of capital available to finance them,” and
“In the short-term, the global economic situation resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic is uncertain and delays to the financing of new farms are inevitable,”. Three-month delay in wind farm construction and project financing could mean new investment in the industry in 2020 would be around the same level as 2019.

[07/04/2020 – gtm] Coronavirus Unnerves US Wind Market During Record Year for Construction

Every industry has been affected by the outbreak and its economic shock. The special problem for the American renewables market is its attachment to the wind and solar tax credits, which come with project deadlines. Developers that qualified wind projects for the full federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) back in 2016 are supposed to finish construction this year. As a result, the market was expected to notch record installations in 2020 — perhaps 15 gigawatts or more, up from around 9 gigawatts last year — straining the supply chain to its limits as hard-hatted laborers swing cranes across the Central Plains. More than 20 gigawatts’ worth of wind farms are under construction across the U.S., according to the American Wind Energy Association, including 6 gigawatts in Texas alone — many with contracts to sell clean power to corporations such as Facebook, McDonald’s and ExxonMobil.

[07/04/2020 – ETEnergyworld] OPINION: Renewable energy wins over oil and gas in post-coronavirus world: Russell

The coronavirus is likely to change the market dynamics of the various types of energy, and mostly in favour of renewables such as wind, solar and hydropower. The biggest costs for utility scale wind, solar and battery storage projects are the upfront capital, given that once these projects are operating costs tend to be minimal.

[07/04/2020 – BusinessJournal] COVID-19 threatens tax credits for billions in sun, wind energy projects

Tax credits for development of wind and solar energy projects are time sensitive, and delays due to COVID-19 are threatening them. Kansas wind energy projects, as well as their solar counterparts, are at risk for losing their tax credits because of COVID-19 construction delays.

[07/04/2020 – ReNews] COVID-19: Crisis slows corporate PPA market

According to industry participants who took part in a series of webinars organised by European law firm, Fieldfisher, highlighted that both developers and corporates would be hesitant to commit to deals in the current circumstances. Fieldfisher partner Lis Blunsdon, said: “On the developer and financing side, there is reluctance to sign CPPAs while energy prices are at current levels, so most discussions have been postponed until there is a clearer view of when and to what extent industry will start up again.”

[06/04/2020 – Austrian Wind Energy Association] Wind power expansion slowed down by Corona

In the course of the resolution of the 4th COVID-19 law (403 / A), the green electricity law was changed in one point. This was necessary because there will be delays in green power plants that are currently being implemented. Wind power projects whose construction period ends between March 16, 2020 and March 16, 2021 are given six months more time to build the wind turbines.

[06/04/2020 – MercomIndia] DISCOMs’ Claim of Force Majeure For Curtailing & Not Paying for Renewables, Null and Void

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has reiterated that the “must-run” status of renewable energy projects remains unchanged during the COVID-19 lockdown period and curtailment or renewables other than for grid safety reasons would amount to deemed generation. Deemed generation means the energy which a generating station was capable of generating but could not generate due to various reasons (curtailment in this case). So, if the DISCOMs curtail power for reasons other than grid security, they will still have to pay for the scheduled capacity of that renewable energy project under the deemed generation clause.

[06/04/2020 – ReNews] COVID-19: Petrofac to slash spending

Petrofac, which has been named as the preferred substation supplier for the 1075MW Seagreen offshore wind farm off Scotland, is reducing capex by 40% and suspending its planned final dividend for 2019. The firm said it would be reducing overhead and project support costs by at least US$100m in 2020 and by up to US$200 million in 2021 in an update on its response to Covid-19.

[06/04/2020 – ReNews] COVID-19: Fugro withdraws 2020 guidance

Fugro has withdrawn its business outlook for 2020 in the face of severe COVID-19 challenges. In a statement it said some projects cannot be executed as originally planned due to increasing travel restrictions and country lockdowns, which are impacting the business, particularly in the Europe-Africa region. Offshore wind is anticipated to show continued growth, though somewhat less than assumed at the start of this year.

[06/04/2020 – MercomIndia] MNRE Addresses Invoicing Issues Faced by Renewable Generators Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

The Ministry has now issued guidelines for billing and invoicing for solar, wind, hybrid, small hydro, waste-to-energy, biomass power generating stations. For Regional Energy Accounts (REA), State Energy Accounts (SEA), and billing through Joint Meter Readings (JMR), it declared that invoices are to be issued over e-mail. It noted that due dates are to be calculated as per the terms of the power purchase agreements (PPAs) between the involved parties and waived off hard copy submissions.

[06/04/2020 – MercomIndia]  Punjab Announces Curtailment of Renewable Power Until Coronavirus Outbreak Subsides

The corporation has instructed the renewable generators to discontinue their generating facilities immediately from the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) and PSTCL systems until the COVID-19 epidemic lasts. The state agencies are citing the force majeure clause under their power purchase agreements (PPAs) signed between the renewable generators and PSPCL.

[03/04/2020 – ANADOLU AGENCY] COVID-19: Spain’s lockdown to be extended till April 25

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced on Saturday that the country will continue with its strict lockdown measures until at least April 25. “Once the curve is clearly descending, we will open a second phase — a progressive return to new social normality and the reconstruction of our economy,” said PM Sanchez.

[03/04/2020 – CleanTechnica] Virus Or Not, US States Foment 100% Renewable Energy Rebellion

If fossil fuel stakeholders hoped for the COVID-19 crisis to give them a little breathing room, they may have to do some re-hoping. The US Energy Department dropped yet another one of its renewable energy truth bombs earlier this week, and now a coalition of economically powerful US states has followed up with a new initiative aimed at accelerating 100% clean energy goals across the country. That’s not just a state-level thing, either. The new initiative aims at municipalities, corporations, utilities, and other stakeholders, too.

[03/04/2020 – ReNews] COVID-19: Industry urged to back UK renewables events

UK renewables trade groups have called on the clean power sector to support industry events that have been postponed until later in the year because of the coronavirus. The statement said that “Please prioritise events run by your member associations which are designed by the industry for the industry” and this will allow the groups to “reinvest directly in the future success of the energy sector, including our work with government to ensure the right policies are in place for the industry to continue to grow”.

[02/04/2020 – ReNews] COVID-19: French offshore powwow rescheduled

This year’s edition of Seanergy, an international forum dedicated to offshore wind and marine renewable energy, was initially scheduled for 9-12 June 2020 in France. The organiser of an international offshore wind forum taking place in France has postponed the event due to the coronavirus pandemic.

[02/04/2020 – offshoreWIND] Iberdrola to Speed Up Investments and Projects

When it comes to the COVID-19 situation, Iberdrola has put in place an integrated plan which includes 107 measures to contain the spread of the pandemic and assure the supply of electricity to citizens. During Iberdrola’s Annual General Meeting, the company’s chairman Ignacio Galán said the speeding up of the investments and projects will contribute to economic activity and prevent loss of jobs, referring to the current global situation with the COVID-19 pandemic. This will lead to some 4.5 GW of new capacity currently under construction to be commissioned this year.

[02/04/2020 – ReNews] COVID-19: Wind operators oppose Eskom curtailment

Since then Eskom has proposed curtailing wind farms, claiming ‘Force Majeure’. And the government issued an official notice on 25 March 2020 classifying electricity production, supply and maintenance as essential services. “The industry will be approaching Eskom with a view to finding a constructive resolution that does not prejudice the country nor the power producers.”

[02/04/2020 – MercomIndia] MNRE Orders Timely Payment and ‘Must-Run’ Status to Renewable Stations During Lockdown

Following the ministry’s announcement of providing a moratorium period to the DISCOMs, several representatives from the renewable energy industry expressed their disappointment and alleged that certain state DISCOMs, citing the MoP’s order, have started to curtail the renewable power in some states partially while others termed the prevailing situation as force majeure condition. In the clarification notice, the MNRE has granted a ‘must-run’ status to renewable energy generating stations and this status will remain unchanged throughout the lockdown period.

[01/04/2020 – BusinessStandard] Covid-19 lockdown: States stop renewable power purchase, hold back payments

Following the lockdown and fall in electricity demand, several states are now curtailing renewable power purchases and have also issued notices on non-payment to generators. These states have invoked Force Majeure clause in their power purchase agreements (PPA) with renewable projects to nix power supply and payment.

[01/04/2020 – Bloomberg NEF] Covid-19 Wreaks Havoc on the Wind Industry 

AS per BNEF, COVID-19 impact is greatest in busy markets in Europe and the U.S., where delays put even more strain on tight construction schedules. It predicts much of this capacity will roll over into 2021, meaning global installations surpass 70GW for the first time. In countries hit hardest by the virus, we assume a two- to three-month project execution delay. Offshore forecast remains unchanged.

[01/04/2020 – HWEA]  Extensions of deadlines due to the COVID-19 crisis

The Hellenic Government has adopted a Legislative Act (OGJ A’75/30.3.2020). Installation Licenses and binding Grid Connection Offers are extended by 4 months 2. The deadlines for connecting projects which have been selected through auctions are extended by 6 months.

[01/04/2020 – Axios] Renewable energy industry eyes next coronavirus stimulus bill

The renewable energy sector is pressing for the “phase 4” coronavirus response bill to provide the aid that was omitted from the recent $2 trillion rescue package — and they might have a wider opening this time around.

[31/03/2020 – ReNews] Vattenfall pulls out of 700MW Dutch offshore wind tender

“Uncertainty over the impact of COVID-19 in Netherlands, the Swedish developer, seen as among the favourites in the auction that opens on 2 April, said it was unwilling to bid due to lower power prices and potential issues in the supply chain as a result of the pandemic and its focus is now on its existing projects. “

[31/03/2020 – ReNews] COVID-19: Germany ‘must not forget climate protection’

Bundesverband der Energie- und Wasserwirtschaft (BDEW) chief executive expressed concern that climate protection and COVID-19 should not be “played off against each other”. Especially against the background of the emerging economic crisis, it must be ensured that investments continue to be made in the expansion of renewable energies and that they can guarantee the energy supply of tomorrow.

[31/03/2020 – Bloomberg] U.K. Offshore Wind Farms Weigh Force Majeure as Virus Spreads

Developers of wind farms off the coast of the U.K. have notified the government that they may declare force majeure to halt contracts as the lockdowns associated with the coronavirus wreak havoc on their global supply chain and keep workers away from job sites.

[31/03/2020 – Bloomberg] Eskom Issues ‘Force Majeure’ to Wind Plants Amid Low Demand

Amid Low power Demand, the amount of power generated from wind is at its highest early in the morning when Eskom’s need is lowest i.e. it has issued some force majeures to the wind generators. Generators will be compensated by having their contracts extended by the amount of time lost as per Eskom.

[31/03/2020 – The Strait Times] EU presses on with tighter 2030 climate target despite Covid-19 pandemic

The European Union executive kick-started its plan to set a tougher 2030 emissions target on Tuesday (March 31), a move that could help maintain the bloc’s focus on climate change despite pressure to soften its green ambitions in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

[31/03/2020 – Recharge] European industry groups call to ‘link’ Green Deal and Covid-19 recovery plans

Over 30 energy industry bodies have made the case to EU political leaders to build the European Green Deal into the economic stimulus strategy currently being devised to counter the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

[30/03/2020 – WindPower Monthly] Brazil delays power tenders

Brazil was due to hold two rounds in April and September pitting new wind developments against hydroelectric, solar PV and biomass projects, as part of the biannual tenders unveiled in March 2019.

[27/3/2020 – Rystad Energy] COVID-19 set to wipe out global solar and wind project growth for 2020, cut by a further 10% next year

Rystad Energy analysis shows that forecast growth in newly commissioned solar and wind projects will now be cut by a further 10% next year as the US dollar surges and currencies fall across the globe. We expect these movements in the foreign exchange market to cause companies to pause contracting key components, which are typically procured in US dollars. Renewable projects in Australia, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa will be especially impacted, as projects in the procurement phase could face capital cost increases of up to 36% due to the rapid depreciation of local currencies in these countries.

[27/03/2020 – Recharge] EU leaders back Covid-19 recovery strategy that ‘integrates energy transition’

Europe’s Green Deal and wider energy transition strategy should be dovetailed with efforts to limit the socio-economic impact of the ongoing coronovirus pandemic, EU leaders have said.

[26/3/2030 – Bloomberg] Liebreich: Covid-19 – The Low-Carbon Crisis

“The pandemic will make clean energy deals “”exponentially harder”” as the crisis period is prolonged, and will have significant impacts to the supply chain. Any “”green stimulus”” package may not take priority over keeping the public safe, fed, housed and employed. “

[15/03/2020 – Recharge] Coronavirus crisis an ‘excellent opportunity’ to speed global energy transition: Birol

The Coronavirus economic stimulus packages being drawn up by governments around the world should build-in “large scale” spending on clean energy technologies including wind, solar, green hydrogen and carbon capture and storage (CCS), says Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA).

[10/03/2020 – Recharge] Coronavirus-led demand slump could hit oil & gas giants’ clean energy plans: IEA

Global oil markets are facing severe downward pressure as the impact of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) spreads around the world, which the International Energy Agency (IEA) said raises concerns about whether companies will honour their pledges to transition to clean energy.

Wind energy has gone from a niche to a mainstream energy source in the past four decades. Europe used to be the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturing base, however, to accommodate wind market growth outside of Europe, local supply chains have been established in North America, Asia, Latin America and mostly recently in Africa. As of today, wind industry has become a truly global business with the turbine nacelle, components and materials produced all around the world.

However, the world, and the global wind supply chain with it, has been hit hard by the COVID-19 virus, first in China, then the rest of world. Although China managed to get the virus under control within two months, disruption has already been seen to the flow of supply chain. In fact full production is not yet resumed by the end of March, as some key components and materials are heavily relying on imports from other regions. At present, Europe, North America and India, the major manufacturing hubs for the global wind industry, are still in the middle of the crisis. Although most wind-related manufacturing remains in operation, the production at some turbine assemblies and component production facilities, for example in Spain, Italy, the UK and India, have been temporarily suspended to stem the spread of coronavirus.

As disruption to the supply chain is likely to trigger a domino effect for global wind turbine production, GWEC Market Intelligence is monitoring the global supply chain situation closely and will provide the latest status of global wind supply chain in this section. 

 

Supply Chain Updates

[27/05/2020 – reNEWS] SSE urges UK to target 75GW offshore by 2050

SSE said the UK should target 40GW of offshore wind by 2030 and 75GW by 2050 as part of a ‘green’ economic strategy for the country to recover from the impact of Covid-19. The offshore wind goal was outlined in the company’s ‘Greenprint for building a cleaner, more resilient economy’, which is a five-point action plan submitted to the UK government. SSE said the success of the Contract for Difference regime should be built on to attract more low-carbon investment in new and repowered renewables, life extensions to projects and energy storage. The Greenprint also calls for five carbon capture and storage plus hydrogen power clusters by 2030, as well as investment in transmission.

[26/05/2020 – reNEWS] Manor Renewable Energy designs COVID-19 compliant vessel

UK-based Manor Renewable Energy (MRE) has been working on the challenge of social distancing throughout its fleet of vessels. Currently under construction, the Manor Endurance, was originally designed to transport 24 passengers; however, to meet new social distancing requirements, the design has been amended. The updated vessel design allows 12 offshore technicians to be transported safely with the inclusion of two-metre social distancing.

[22/05/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: UK wind farms could face weekend ‘switch-off’

Over the upcoming Bank Holiday weekend because of Covid-19 electricity demand is expected to get lower in the UK and could see several distributed-connected wind farm operators paid to cut output in order to manage the grid. As per National Grid ESO, small-scale renewable generators with over 2.4GW of capacity – including 1.5GW of wind power – have so far joined a new scheme called the Optional Downward Flexibility Management (ODFM) service.

[20/05/2020 – Wind Action] Suncor suspends its wind project in Forty Mile due to Covid

“Suncor released a revised 2020 corporate guidance for capital operating costs and production outlook on March 23, reflecting significant declines in crude oil prices and uncertainty surrounding the economic impact of COVID-19,” said Todd Andersen on behalf of Forty Mile Granlea Wind Limited Partnership. It had aimed to commission the 205MW first phase in 2021, now Suncor is expected to resume construction in 2021 and the commercial operation date of phase one will shift by one year to December 2022.

[20/05/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: Wind safety training activity resumes

Certified wind training providers are starting to open their doors again. According to a survey conducted by safety training standards body Global Wind Organisation (GWO), around six in 10 GWO-certified training providers expect to have reopened their doors by the end of this week.

[20/05/2020 – ETEnergyworld] Siemens stays positive on India despite virus eating into orders

In a note on as per Spark Capital, it had a “structurally positive outlook” on Siemens India in its gas and power segment. Though muted spending in the domestic transmission market was a concern, growth from the industrial steam turbine segment should partially aid growth, the brokerage said. Spark Capital also sees growth in the company’s digital industries, smart infrastructure and mobility segment.

[18/05/2020 – TheHill] Analysis: 1.3M energy jobs lost since pandemic’s start

The analysis, published Monday by BW Research, found that 958,500 energy jobs were lost just last month. It determined that 306,500 of the jobs lost in April were in the areas of fuels, electricity generation or transmission distribution and storage. A total of 312,000 of the job losses came from energy efficiency jobs, while the motor vehicle industry lost 340,000 jobs. A prior analysis by BW Research had found that, of the jobs that had been lost since the pandemic began, 600,000 of them were in clean energy. The report also predicted that energy sector job losses will peak at 1.75 million.

[15/05/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: Petrofac experiences ‘significant disruption’

“Petrofac has experienced “significant disruption” to its engineering and construction (E&C) business because of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and “stringent health protocols, supply chain disruption, travel restrictions and government-enforced lockdowns”. Projects are still progressing, but there are material delays in construction activity that will not be recovered in 2020, Petrofac added. Training centres have been temporarily closed. The company is active in offshore wind, including as substation supplier for the 1075MW Seagreen offshore wind farm off Scotland, but said the remarks are a broad sector outlook and not project specific. However, it is “prudently anticipating that the majority of 2020 tenders will be delayed until 2021“.”

[14/05/2020 – Bloomberg Law] April Sees Double the Clean Energy Job Losses Versus Prior Month

U.S. clean energy industry is struggling, as the sector saw job losses double and total layoffs climb to 600,000 jobs thus far this year, according to an industry analysis released Wednesday. In April alone, 447,208 clean energy workers filed new unemployment claims, according to the analysis of federal labor data conducted by clean energy advocacy groups. Those groups include E2 and the American Council on Renewable Energy. The lost jobs, stemming from a combination of social distancing efforts, declining investor confidence, and slowing demand due to the overall declines in the U.S. economy, could approach 850,000 by June, according to the report, authored by BW Research Partnership.

[13/05/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: UK energy training centres reopen

Training centres for wind and other energy sector workers, owned by 3T Energy Group, have reopened after enforced closure due to coronavirus. The AIS Training facility in Newcastle upon Tyne and Survivex centre in Aberdeen are operating at 20% capacity to ensure social distancing measures can be maintained.

[12/05/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: Boreas examination extended to October

The examination period for Vattenfall’s 1800MW Norfolk Boreas offshore wind farm off the east coast of England has been extended to 12 October from 12 May as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. An extension request was made by the Planning Inspectorate to BEIS on 6 April because “several hearings had been cancelled potentially resulting in interested parties not been given a fair opportunity to participate in the examination”.

[12/05/2020 – Windpower Engineering and Development] Avangrid Renewables starts construction on 306-MW New Mexico wind farm

“Avangrid Renewables has started construction on the La Joya Wind Farm in Torrance County. When completed, the project will consist of 111 turbines and have a total generating capacity of 306 MW. The portion sited on state trust land will include 74 new wind turbines capable of generating a total of 207 MW.The project is expected to be in operation by the end of 2020. The wind farm will help Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) and other voluntary companies meet their climate and sustainability goals. As work proceeds on site, crews are practicing social distancing and other recommended best practices to reduce risks associated with COVID-19.”

[11/05/2020 – Reuters] Nordex says supply chain problems persist in COVID-19 crisis

German wind turbine maker Nordex (NDXG.DE) on Monday said it was unclear when it could issue a new outlook for the current year, saying supply chain issues caused by the coronavirus pandemic continued to hit its business. “The effects of the coronavirus pandemic have been dominating everyday life in Europe and many other regions for several weeks now. The Nordex Group and the wind energy sector as a whole are being impacted by this crisis,” CEO Jose Luis Blanco said.

[11/05/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: ScottishPower restarts Halsary construction

SPR also restarted construction at its 50MW Beinn an Tuirc 3 wind farm in South Kintyre last week, citing Scottish government which said projects “critical to the safe and secure operation of the system in the short to medium term” qualified as essential despite lockdown rules. However, the guidance specifically ruled out new build projects not due to connect within the next 12 months. The Scottish government has maintained rules which say all non-essential construction work should stop. The move to restart work at Beinn an Tuirc 3 during the lockdown, with workers travelling from Ireland, has triggered controversy in the local area.

[08/05/2020 – Saur Energy] COVID Impact: Siemens Gamesa Incurs Loss; Challenges in India Business

Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy has reported that its performance in the second quarter of FY 2020 (January-March) reflected the unexpected effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on its operations and commercial activity, with a direct impact of EUR 56 million on the company’s profitability. Furthermore, the complicated situation further intensified the challenges in its onshore business, mainly in the Indian market and the execution of projects in Northern Europe.

[07/05/2020 – reNEWS]  COVID-19: Catapult seeks virus risk solution for CTVs

The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult in partnership with the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), G+ and the Workboat Association are seeking a solution to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission in confined spaces on crew transfer vessels (CTVs) aiming to find a way to reduce transmission risk and enable safe vessel transit for offshore wind turbine technicians. Possible options could be a partition, which can be deployed onboard the vessels and allow an increase in passenger and crew numbers.

[01/05/2020 – reNEWS]  COVID-19: RES maintains a rapid response in the UK

UK staff at renewable energy company RES have been working around the clock during the coronavirus lockdown to ensure the continuous supply of clean, green electricity for more than 6000,000 homes. RES’ 24/7/365 control centre has booked more than 2000 key workers onto wind and solar sites over the previous month in order to react to faults and defects and bring wind turbines and solar arrays back online.

[01/05/2020 – ETEnergyworld]  COVID-19: Labour migration to pose short-term challenges for power, renewable energy sectors

According to Manish Gupta, senior director, Crisil Ratings, for under-construction solar projects technical requirements are high at an advanced stage hence, labour intensity is lower. But, if compared the impact of the migration challenge between the wind and solar sector, the impact would be less on wind, according to sector analysts. “The impact would be less because, one, the number of projects under construction in solar is higher than wind and, two, the relative intensity of EPC work is lower in wind,” said Gupta. According to Khanorkar, wind power generation during March and April as it is very low so lower O&M would have a very marginal impact.

[29/04/2020 – offshoreWIND] Ørsted Posts Strong Results, Sees No Significant Impact from COVID-19

“Despite the COVID-19 crisis and its profound impact on societies around the world, we have had a very good start to the year with strong financial results and solid operational performance across the entire business,” Henrik Poulsen, CEO and President of Ørsted, said. He has, however, pointed to an increased risk of component and service delays from suppliers impacted by COVID-19.

[29/04/2020 – offshoreWIND] Ørsted Faces Delays Across US Offshore Wind Portfolio

Ørsted’s offshore wind development projects in the US are moving forward at a slower pace than originally expected, the company’s CEO and President Henrik Poulsen said. The delays are due to a combination of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) prolonged analysis of the cumulative impacts from the build-out of US offshore wind projects, as well as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Poulsen said. The two most mature projects in the developer’s pipeline, the 120 MW Skipjack in Maryland and the 130 MW South Fork project in New York, are most exposed to the risk of delays, according to Poulsen. The commissioning date for the Skipjack project has already been pushed from late 2022 to the end of 2023.

[29/04/2020 – reNEWS] GE Renewable Energy falls deeper into the red

GE Renewable Energy has reported a loss of $302m in the group’s first quarter results, widening the loss of $187m in the same period in 2019 by some 61%. The company cited supply chain disruption due to COVID-19, fulfilment delays. The non-recurrence of a non-cash gain in the first quarter of 2019 also contributed.

[29/04/2020 – gtm] 5 Orsted US Offshore Wind Projects Face Possible Delay Due to COVID-19, Permitting Challenges

Five of Ørsted’s U.S. offshore wind projects totaling nearly 3 gigawatts may face delays due to the coronavirus crisis and slowed permitting, in a blow to U.S. ambitions to animate a thriving offshore wind industry over the next few years. Ørsted said its three largest awarded U.S. offshore projects — the 704-megawatt Revolution Wind for Rhode Island and Connecticut; 880-megawatt Sunrise Wind for New York; and 1.1-gigawatt Ocean Wind for New Jersey — face “increased risk of delays.” “Our offshore development projects in the U.S. are moving forward, although at a slower pace than originally expected due to a combination of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) prolonged analysis of the cumulative impacts from the build-out of U.S. offshore wind projects, and now also COVID-19 effects,” Ørsted said in a statement.

[27/04/2020 – Saur Energy] Inox Wind Opens All Manufacturing Facilities with Permission from Local Authority

Noida-headquartered company has informed to the stock exchange that after “obtaining requisite permission from concerned district administration, it has now resumed operations at all its three manufacturing plants in compliance with all the safety guidelines and directives issued by the Central and State Governments and local administration to safeguard the employees, labourers and all other stakeholders to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

[23/04/2020 – InsideClimateNews] Inside Clean Energy: Here Is How Covid Is Affecting Some of the Largest Wind, Solar and Energy Storage Projects

PacifiCorp, the utility developing the 503-megawatt TB Flats wind farm in Wyoming, said it is dealing with a delay of several weeks getting electronic equipment. Several other projects are still on schedule. For example, the 525-megawatt Aviator Wind project in west-central Texas “remains unimpacted,” said Cat Strumlauf, spokeswoman for the developer Apex Clean Energy.

[23/04/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: Sembcorp fabrication jobs on track in Singapore

Two offshore wind fabrication jobs on the books at Sembcorp Marine in Singapore have escaped any Covid-19 impacts, despite national authorities tightening lockdown measures in response to a second wave of the virus. Manufacturing of jackets by the company for the 376MW Formosa 2 offshore wind farm in Taiwan is ongoing, according to a spokeswoman for lead foundations contractor Jan De Nul. Sembcorp is supplying 15 foundations for the project with deliveries due in December 2020.

[23/04/2020 – reNEWS] TPI Composites withdraws 2020 guidance

The withdrawn guidance was issued on 27 February and updated on 3 April for the fiscal year ending 31 December 2020. As per Wind turbine blade manufacturer TPI Composites, there is uncertainty over the impact on its manufacturing operations because of the evolving nature, magnitude and duration of the pandemic, as well as the variety of measures implemented by governments around the world to address its effects.

[23/04/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: Catapult resumes testing at Blyth

The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult has resumed testing and validation activity at the National Renewable Energy Centre in Blyth, north-east England, after introducing measures to ensure staff safety during the Covid-19 pandemic. It carries out research, test and validation programmes that are fundamental to progressing major offshore renewable energy projects and growing UK supply chains to meet economic growth and decarbonisation targets.

[22/04/2020 – CNBC] As the coronavirus continues to impact renewables industry, another turbine manufacturer suspends guidance

Wind turbine firm Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) has withdrawn financial guidance for the 2020 financial year. In a statement SGRE said the “uncertainty associated with COVID-19” was “compounding challenges in India and Northern Europe.” SGRE joins Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas — which this week announced its decision to lay off around 400 employees — in suspending guidance for 2020.

[22/04/2020 – Business Today] 1,000 foreign firms mull production in India, 300 actively pursue plan as ‘Exit China’ mantra grows

These companies see India as an alternate manufacturing hub and have taken up their proposals across various levels of the government, including central government departments, Indian missions abroad and state industry departments.

[20/04/2020 – Insurance Journal] Positive Tests Mount After Virus Outbreak at North Dakota Wind Turbine Plant

A coronavirus outbreak at a northeastern North Dakota wind turbine plant has ballooned to 110 cases in early testing and one city official said he expects a “prolonged battle” to control the spread. An uptick in cases at the LM Wind Power facility in Grand Forks led to the drive-thru screening on Thursday of 424 people, which included close contacts of infected workers, other household members and employees who have not shown symptoms, Gov. Doug Burgum said. All but 52 of those tests have been completed by the state lab. Burgum said LM Wind Power’s parent company, GE, has committed to keep the plant closed for a minimum of 14 days and continue to pay its employees. State Health Officer Mylynn Tufte has issued a quarantine order for those employees.

[20/04/2020 – Renewable Energy Magazine] O&M costs in the wind industry fall with COVID-19 induced work practices set to become the new norm

A global COVID-19 wind operations leader survey has revealed that the frequency of uptower wind operations & maintenance (O&M) work has lessened. As wind farm owners and investors prioritise critical equipment maintenance, reduce subcontractor reliance and adopt virtual working practices for non-essential kit monitoring and analysis, operational and technology teams have fast-tracked a new working framework for wind turbine operations and maintenance that will drive future operational efficiencies, post COVID-19. Research undertaken by Onyx InSight, provide a comprehensive overview and assessment of the immediate and expected impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on wind farm operations and maintenance best practice. Key report findings directly connected to the evolution of future operational work practices, include: 1) An increased reliance on remote/virtual engineering assessment and analytics, in order to prioritise scheduled and unscheduled maintenance and repairs; 2) A rapid reduction in external subcontractors, coupled with increased overview and daily management of internal teams and their equipment; 3) Increased focus on tackling critical correctives, with an emphasis on deferring or delaying maintenance where not absolutely necessary.

[20/04/2020 – Vestas] To ensure strong focus on execution in 2020 and sustain long-term competitiveness, Vestas will optimise its product portfolio

Impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Vestas is taking steps to ensure we exit 2020 in the position of strength with which we entered it. Vestas intends to reduce its workforce across functions in Denmark that do not directly support 2020 deliveries. It intends to lay off approximately 400 employees, which will primarily affect locations in Denmark. A limited number of layoffs is also expected in other locations in Europe. Additionally, Vestas’ registered directors in Executive Management will take a 10 percent pay-cut until end of 2020.

[19/04/2020 – Reuters] North Dakota coronavirus cases spike with outbreak at GE wind power plant

North Dakota reported a spike in novel coronavirus cases on Saturday after more people tested positive at a wind power factory run by a unit of General Electric, posing a challenge to the state’s plan to re-open as early as May 1. The factory outbreak boosted the number of new cases recorded over the past 24 hours to 90, the largest single day increase, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the state to 528 among which 9 people have died. General Electric would pay workers during the shutdown, and company would disinfect the plant. “We will continue to support our employees and monitor their condition, as we determine when and how we can re-start the plant safely,” as per GE. The factory, which makes rotor blades for wind turbines, will be closed for at least two weeks, governor Burgum said.

[14/04/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: Nordex, LM Wind Power restart in Spain

Nordex and LM Wind Power have reopened factories across Spain after non-essential work was paused due to the country’s coronavirus crisis. Nordex began reopening its factories in Barasoain, Vall d’Uixò and Lumbier in Spain in early April after temporarily closing them “as a result of the increasingly stringent governmental containment measures” on 30 March. Nordex has also confirmed it reopened its Indian production facilities in Chennai on 6 April. The German wind manufacturer added that some of its factories were only operating with limited capacity. LM Wind had reopened operations at its Ponferrada plant on Friday and at Castellon on Monday after the territorial labour office gave the company’s safety plan the green light.

[14/04/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: Vestas resumes full production in Spain

Vestas has reopened its generator factory in Viviero and returned its blade factory in Daimiel to full capacity as Spain partially eased its coronavirus lockdown.

[13/04/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: Siemens Gamesa reopening Spanish plants

Siemens Gamesa is reopening all turbine production facilities across Spain after a two week “pause” in non-essential work due to the coronavirus pandemic. Factories in Lerma and Burgos producing gearboxes, an electronic equipment plant in San Fernando de Henares, a blade plant in Somozas and a nacelle factory in Ágreda reopened. The company’s blade plant in Aoiz, gearbox production in Asteasu and a converter plant in Valencia to open on 14th April, Tuesday due to bank holidays in some Spanish regions. 

[11/04/2020 – ETEnergyworld] Orsted hopes coronavirus will not slow Japan’s offshore wind projects

Orsted, the world’s largest offshore wind farm developer, is concerned the coronavirus may delay auctions for offshore projects as it prepares to enter the market, the head of its Asia-Pacific unit said. “The pandemic will not influence investment decisions and general confidence in offshore wind, but it could delay the projects’ timeline,” Matthias Bausenwein, president of Orsted Asia-Pacific, told Reuters. Orsted’s offshore wind projects in Taiwan have not been affected, but they may see an impact over time, Bausenwein said.

[10/04/2020 – ETEnergyworld] No plans to slow down renewable energy growth target, says MNRE secretary

“We are not going to slow down right now,” Amitesh Kumar Sinha, joint secretary of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) said on Thursday. The country will receive raw materials for building renewable energy capacity of 6-7 GW, which are currently stuck in Chinese ports, in another month, Sinha said in a web conference organised by RE consultancy firm Bridge to India. MNRE said it wants all generators running to their full capacity. The only exception on this matter would be due to issues of grid safety, it said.

[10/04/2020 – offshoreWIND] PGE to Ditch Projects Outside Core Business, Offshore Wind Safe 

PGE will close projects with unsatisfactory rate of return and especially those not directly related to its core business. Offshore wind projects do not meet these parameters and will thus remain on track. The negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economic situation, and particularly electricity consumption, also contributed to the decision.

[09/04/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: Bombora delays mWave deployment

Wave energy company Bombora has delayed the planned deployment of its mWave demonstration system in Wales to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. A company spokesperson told “We have announced a delay on deploying our 1.5MW mWave in Wales from later this year to 2021 as supplier workshops are shut for now and safety has to be our first priority. The mWAVE system is a membrane style wave energy converter located 10 metres beneath the ocean’s surface, similar to a fully submerged reef. It is invisible from the shore said Bombora. As ocean waves pass over mWave, the membranes deflect pumping air through a turbine to generate electricity.

[09/04/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: DEME deploys floating quarantine hotel

DEME has hired a ship to ensure the safe changeover of crews onboard dredging and offshore vessels during the COVID-19 pandemic. The offshore wind contractor is hiring a floating hotel to support quarantine measures from this weekend. It will be moored in Ostend, in Belgium.

[09/04/2020 – reNEWS] WATCH: Orsted starts turbine installation at Borssele 1&2

Orsted has dispatched the first lot of Siemens Gamesa 8MW turbines for installation at its 752MW Borssele 1&2 offshore wind project off the Netherlands. DEME Offshore jack-up Sea Challenger departed the Danish port of Esbjerg carrying the first four out of 94 turbines that will be installed at the site next week. Orsted said it is doing its “utmost” to keep building the project amid the coronavirus pandemic. “We do this in a way that puts the health and safety of employees first. For the time being, this is succeeding, and construction is on schedule,” the developer wrote in a recent project update.

[08/04/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: Innogy halts Glen Kyllachy construction

Construction at Innogy’s planned 50MW Glen Kyllachy wind farm in the Scottish Highlands is suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Elsewhere in the Highlands Irish developer ESB says it has paused site surveys for the proposed up-to-100MW Chleansaid wind farm. The development, currently in scoping, would feature up to 20 turbines with a tip height up to 200 metres and is situated 13km north east of Lairg.

[07/04/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: Vestas suspends 2020 guidance 

Vestas has suspended its guidance for 2020, citing uncertainty and limited visibility resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Its first quarter figures and a 3.3GW order intake in that period indicated achieving its previous 2020 outlook was realistic and showed a “limited” impact when seen in isolation. Chief executive Henrik Andersen said: “Unfortunately, the pandemic continues to spread and with no clear prognosis on when key wind markets such as the USA, Brazil and India will recover, we are suspending our guidance due to the poor visibility for the remainder of the year.”

[07/04/2020 – Recharge] Global turbine spend will climb despite coronavirus impact: WoodMac

Despite demand fluctuations and the impact of the coronavirus, some $600bn is foreseen being spent on wind turbines and componentry in the ten years through 2028, pointing to an increase of 8% compared to 2019 levels, according to latest figures from analysts Wood Mackenzie. Higher average turbine prices and a 20% growth in offshore demand reflect a 37% uptick in supply chain potential, representing a cumulative value of $222bn by 2028, the analyst group said.

[06/04/2020 – The Hutchinson News] Siemens Gamesa to furlough 200 in Hutchinson

Driven by parts and material delays directly caused by COVID-19 impacts to our international suppliers, Siemens Gamesa has made the difficult decision to furlough 100 employees at the Fort Madison, Iowa, facility and about 200 employees at the Hutchinson facilities. Siemens Gamesa confirmed that employees at both plants will be furloughed for three- or four-weeks citing issues with its international supply chain. Though it didn’t indicate when the furloughs would begin.

[06/04/2020 – Saur Energy] Stolen by Covid. Woodmac Projects 3 GW Hit on Solar, Wind Due to Lockdown

Wood Mackenzie, the global industry tracker, in its latest report today has projected that India could face over 21.6% or 3 gigawatts (GW) of solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind installations delays as a result of the country’s lockdown.

[02/04/2020 – VICE NEWS] Coronavirus Is Actually Helping the Environment — for Now

“We’re at near-record levels of wind farms under construction,” says Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, “so the COVID-19 disruption is coming at a horrendous moment.”

[01/04/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: Boskalis braces for financial hit

Boskalis expects the coronavirus pandemic will negatively impact its business and financial results in 2020, stating it is “currently impossible” to quantify the extent. The offshore wind contractor has opted not to schedule a dividend proposal for the financial year 2019 and to suspend its share buy-back scheme from next week given the “uncertainty” over the public health emergency sweeping the globe.

[01/04/2020 – ETEnergyworld] Wind turbine maker Nordex suspends production in Spain

German wind turbine maker Nordex has suspended production at its Spanish factories responding to a lockdown in the country aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus. Production at the group’s nacelle casing factories in Barasoain and Vall d’Uixo as well as at the rotor blade site in Lumbier has been suspended.

[01/04/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: Siemens Gamesa reopens Hull blade factory

Siemens Gamesa has restarted full production at its Hull blade manufacturing plant in the UK after introducing a series of measures to protect staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has introduced thermal imaging, enhanced protective equipment and various other initiatives to get operations going again after the factory was shut last week.

[31/03/2020 – EnergiaEstrategica]  Coronavirus in Colombia: warners that marketers could terminate contracts to winners of the renewable auction

In an interview for Strategic Energy, Hemberth Suárez Lozano, founding partner of OGE Legal Services, offered a legal perspective on delays in contracts resulting from the global pandemic.

[31/03/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: Vestas closes two factories in Spain

As per Vestas, all of the continuing operations will be “performed under the extraordinary safety measures that were implemented since the beginning of the crisis in all sites to minimise the risk of contagion within our employees” and it is “ready to quickly restart operations on 10 April or the timeline established by the authorities”. Work at the Daimiel facility had been temporarily stopped earlier in the month but had been re-opened after an inspection from the health authorities.

[31/03/2020 – WindEurope] Production of critical wind turbine components must continue 

In a statement, WindEurope expressed concern at the “reaching impact” the crisis is having on the European wind energy supply chain and wrote national Governments need to allow for essential manufacturing processes to continue, in particular for the production of components without which global wind energy supply chains will grind to a halt.

[31/03/2020 – reNEWS] COVID-19: PNE may push projects back to 2021

PNE may have to move projects planned for implementation this year to 2021 because of the coronavirus. As per PNE chief executive there may be shifts in their operating business as regards the sale of project rights and project implementation from 2020 to 2021 and from 2021 to 2022 due to spread of the COVID-19 virus.

[30/03/2020] Covid-19: ‘Most European plants remain open’

The global coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic will affect the industry’s 2020 goals, but it is still too early to say by how much.

[30/03/2020 – CWEA] China’s wind power industry is also not immune

As per CWEA, annual wind turbine shipments will be reduced by about 30%, and equipment supply will be delayed by more than 6 months. Offshore wind power project construction period is delayed by at least 8 to 12 months. It suggests that extending the grid connection period is a necessary measure for the wind power industry to stabilize the investment in response to the epidemic. Imports and exports of raw materials such as Basham wood, polyvinyl chloride, and main bearings, gearbox bearings, IGBT chips and other components have begun to be limited.

[27/03/2020 – ReNews] COVID-19: ‘96% of EU wind turbine factories operating’

The majority of Europe’s wind turbine and component factories are continuing to operate, with 96% of manufacturing sites still producing, according to trade body WindEurope.

[27/03/2020 – Recharge] Global giants halt India plants as coronavirus crunch hits third key global wind hub

Vestas, Siemens Gamesa and LM Wind Power say national lockdown means production temporarily suspended as nation joins China and Spain on disruption list.

[27/03/2020 – PEi, Power Engineering International] Norweign company Statkraft stalls hydro and wind projects due to COVID-19

The projects on hold are the 100 MW Tidong hydropower project in India; the 52 MW Los Lagos hydropower project in Chile; and the 43 MW Windy Rig wind farm in Scotland. Meanwhile, work on the 184 MW Moglice hydropower project in Albania and Construction of Fosen Vind, Europe’s largest onshore wind power project in central Norway, are continuing.

[27/03/2020 – BusinessLine] Renewable projects in the APAC region are unaffected by the COVID-19 outbreak, as per Fitch Ratings.

The ratings agency referred to projects involving Adani Green Energy Ltd, Azure Power Solar Energy Private Ltd and Star Energy Geothermal. Adani Green has a BBB- rating with a stable outlook. Azure Power has a BB rating and Star Energy Geothermal, Indonesia’s largest geothermal power station, has a BB- rating. Regarding near-term refinancing, Fitch noted that there are no near-term risks.

[27/03/2020 – WindPower Monthly] Covid-19: ‘Most European plants remain open’

Amid work continues in Europe, Vestas, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) and GE blade manufacturer LM Wind Power had all closed production sites in Spain to protect workers from Covid-19. Vestas reopened its blade factory in San Daimiel after health authorities approved measures in place there, and LM Wind Power resumed production at two Spanish sites following an extended Easter holiday. Meanwhile, SGRE had closed its technology centre in Madrid and blade plant in Navarre after a member of staff tested positive for the virus.

[27/3/2020 – offshoreWIND] CWind Taiwan Aligns Ops with COVID-19 Measures

The company is taking precautionary measures; the range from remote working of office employees on a rotation basis, through Management Team and HSE Manager monitoring all shore staff, offshore crew and passengers’ health condition every day, to daily deep clean on all sites, offices, and vessels. It says all travel including change of vessel crew or passenger onboard CTVs needs to be approved by Management and HSE teams.

[27/3/2020 – ReNews] COVID-19: Vestas closes factories in India

Operations are currently suspended at its blade factory in Ahmedabad and the hub and nacelle plant in Chennai.

[27/3/2020 – ReNews]  COVID-19: Siemens Gamesa pauses production at Hull

In light of new government guidelines in response to the coronavirus, Siemens Gamesa has paused production at its blade factory in Hull, east England. Port operations in Hull remain open under the same regime of review.
 

[26-03-2020 – Recharge]  Covid-19: Projections hit as US begins to feel bite

The global coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic will affect the industry’s 2020 goals, but it is still too early to say by how much.
 

[26-03-2020 – reNEWS]  COVID-19: Siemens Gamesa shuts factories in India

Siemens Gamesa has closed manufacturing plants in India in response to a three-week government-enforced lockdown across the country to curtail the spread of coronavirus.
 
 
Electricity provider Mercury has halted construction work on its $450 million Turitea wind farm in Manawatū, first stage of the wind farm was 33 turbines, at a cost of $256m, while the second stage was a 27-turbine, $208m project.
 

The Government of Colombia ordered, through decree 457 of 2020, compulsory isolation throughout the country to stop the advance of COVID-19, the measure will be in force for 19 days, until April 16. It impacts the progress of the 500 kV work “Colectora – Cuestecitas – La Loma”, which will allow the energy generated by the six wind projects awarded in the long-term auction more than 1,000 MW. The probable extension in the construction deadlines of this 470 km power line would affect the ability to obtain financing from the wind farms for 1,077 MW awarded in the auction.

 
[25/3/2020 – WindPower Monthly] Ørsted keeping tabs on Covid-19 impact
 
Ørsted’s under-construction wind farms are progressing according to plan despite the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. It continues to monitor how the virus will affect its operations.
 
 
“I challenge anyone to have imagined anything like Covid-19.” Those were the words of Enel CEO Francesco Starace, as he reflected on how no corporate resilience ‘wargame’ could have foreseen the impact of coronavirus on the world’s people, economies and energy industries.
 

[19/03/2020 – Recharge] Siemens Gamesa halts second Spanish factory over coronavirus

Siemens Gamesa has halted work at a second Spanish plant after a positive coronavirus test. The Aoiz blade plant in Navarre is closed for disinfection and the employee under medical observation following the test, said a statement from the wind OEM. Siemens Gamesa had already closed its San Fernando de Henares power electronics facility in Madrid after a positive test there.

These country updates focus on the key issues that could impact the wind industry during the COVID-19 crisis, including impact on workforce, status of wind as an essential service in national measures, inclusion of wind in economic stimulus packages, status of important polices for the local wind industry such as auctions and Feed-in-tariff deadlines, GWEC and national association's activities to actively promote the wind industry in national measures during the COVID-19 crisis, as well as additional links and resources.

GWEC is actively engaging with all national wind energy associations to provide a country-by-country update on the impact of COVID-19 on the local wind industry. Currently, we have included updates for the top 6 wind energy markets globally and will continue to add more information on other markets as the situation develops.

Additional resources from Wind Associations:

Impact on Workforce

Energy services are considered an essential service and all power generation operations are active. However, no free movement is allowed inside the country, all public transportation has been stopped and only authorized people can move freely. These transport restrictions are complicating operations and construction for wind projects.

Import processes are being delayed due to the shortage of personnel and restrictions on transport, with food and health imports being prioritised. However, the energy sector is included in the essencial imports list. 

Status of Wind Projects

All construction projects were halted during the first weeks of the quarantine period. However, some projects have already been authorised to restart operations under certain circumstances. 

The Argentinian wind energy association has been engaging with policymakers to further open up project construction under established health and safety protocols as well as asking for an extension on Feed-in-Tariff deadlines.

Nevertheless, delays in project construction and auctions were already seen prior to the COVID-19 crisis due to the economic situation in Argentina, which has been exasperated during the crisis.

Stimulus Package & Economic Support

No specific measures on eocnomic relief to the wind industry. Minor measures are in place for the general economy but not for specific sectors. i.e. measures are taken to protect the income of families, protect production and employment, and guarantee supply.

It is important to note that the economic situation in the country has been heavily affected by the quarantine measures taken by government. Power generators – both renewable and traditional – had been experiencing delays on payments from CAMMESA (state agency). Power distributors are experiencing liquidity issues as some sectors of the population are exempted from payments and companies are having trouble paying their energy bills as they are not operating. Demand has fallen more than 50% because of the quarantine measures. However, it is expected, that quarantine measures will be extended for a longer period, with a flexibilisation in some activities.

Resources

Impact on Workforce

Brazil has adopted a policy of social isolation to stem the spread of COVID-19, exact measures vary on a state level, however there is a consensus among governors about the importance of social isolation.

Electric energy generation, transmission and distribution services are considered essential, including the provision of supplies for the O&M of generation plants as well as transmission and distribution systems.

 

Status of Wind Projects

While there is no formal restriction on transport in the country, there are isolated cases of construction sites that have been frozen by an order from the municipality. The industry is in direct dialogue with municipal governments to explain the precautionary measures they are putting in place on the construction site to ensure the health of their workforce and city. ABEEolica, the Brazilian Wind Energy Association, has created a crisis work group to address this issue.

Additionally, the two auctions for 2020 have been postponed, but the new date has yet to be announced. This decision was well received and understood by the industry considering the instability that the crisis has caused.

Brazil’s energy system is already heavily renewable, with over 15 GW of  total wind energy capacity already installed by the end of 2019, making up 9.6 per cent of total electricity demand and providing over 230,000 jobs in the country. Thus, the government understands the importance of wind energy in their energy matrix, and ABEEolica is working closely with the Ministry of Mines and Energy and the Ministry of Economy along with other industry stakeholders to assess the impact of COVID-19 on Brazil’s wind energy sector and take appropriate action.

Stimulus Package & Economic Support

On 1 April, the federal government in Brazil announced an aid package totaling R $ 200 billion to stimulate the economy. While there are no measures directly for the wind industry, other relevant measures include:

  • Companies can reduce their working hours by 20%, 25% or 30% and the government will cover the wage gap
  • Opening of a credit line for companies to honour the salaries of their employees during the crisis
  • Transfer of R $ 16 billion through the recompistion of the State Participation Fund (FDE) and the Municipality Participation Fund (FPM) to mitigate the impact of the crisis

Additionaly, on 8 April the Brazilian government issued a provisionary measure that authorises the contracting of loans with banks to relieve the short-term cashflow deficit of energy distributors due to a sudden decrease in energy demand during the crisis. The measure establishes the conditions to make credit operations feasible, providing financial relief to the distributors and allow them to continue paying power generators and other sectoral agents. 

The measure also exempts consumers who benefit from the social tariff from payment for consumption of up to 220 kWh/month for 3 months. 

Resources

Impact on Workforce

In Wuhan, China’s epicenter of COVID-19,  lockdown measures were lifted on the 28 March after two months. However, on the same day, a travel ban on all foreign nationals including those holding a work visa or residence permit came into force in China, the world’s largest wind market in both new and cumulative installations. 

The lifting of the lockdown measures in Wuhan is a clear signal that China’s domestic workforce is beginning to return to business-as-usual, but the closure of the country’s borders will still have an impact on the flow of workforce for the supply chain in China, where leading international turbine OEMs and components suppliers have production facilities established in different regions throughout the country. 

Status of Wind Projects

China was the first country hit by the COVID-19 virus. Disruption has been reported on the flow of supply chain and workforce in February and early March. Although China managed to get the virus under control within two months, only 70% of production are back online by the end of March. In addition, the COVID-19 crisis outside China has brought challenges on the import of key components and materials such as bearings, balsa wood and PVC.

On 5 March, China’s NEA (National Energy Administration) released a guideline on construction of wind and solar projects in 2020. It shows more strict control of approving on both onshore and offshore projects. No new projects should be approved if the province has reached its targets set in 13th Five-year Plan (2016-2020). Subsidy-free onshore project is encouraged and the deadline of submitting application is postponed from mid-February to end of April.

On 30 March, the China Wind Energy Association (CWEA) launched an initiative on behalf of the industry. It presents the impact by COVID-19 and calls on the NEA and National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC ) to postpone the deadline of projects connected to grid by at least 6 months. It also suggests to remove the performance check in 2020 on wind curtailment since the power consumption this year will be lower than it should be.

This extension will be crucial for China’s wind industry to realise the installation rush that was foreseen for 2020.  More than 60 GW of onshore wind projects were approved before the end of 2018 and therefore must be grid connected by the end of 2020 in order to receive the Feed-in-Tariff, as China will move into a ‘subsidy-free’ policy starting in 2021. The pressure is tremendous for project developers and manufacturers considering the financial consequences caused by the disruption of COVID-19 on the Chinese wind supply chain.

Stimulus Package & Economic Support

The wind industry is a major sector for China’s economy, and the blow from closing factories when the country was at its peak of its COVID-19 crisis coupled with a decrease in external demand as other countries now deal with the virus will have an impact on the industry. Although there are no specific economic measures for the wind industry, the China is preparing a large-scale stimulus to deal with the economic impact of the crisis.

It has been reported that China will increase its fiscal deficit as a share of gross domestic product, issue special sovereign debt and allow local governments to sell more infrastructure bonds as part of a package to stablise the economy. 

China has yet to release its budget for 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis delaying a key political meeting.

Resources

Impact on Workforce

Germany does not gone into ‘full lockdown’, instead putting in place strict social distancing measures issued on the 22 March. Consequently, no factories in Germany have closed and there has been relatively small impact to the wind energy workforce as a result of COVID-19 measures.

Status of Wind Projects

On 23 March, Germany’s federal network agency BNetzA announced that due to the spread of COVID-19, it would allow onshore wind developers who were successful in the country’s previous auctions to delay project implementation.

The agency also said that they plan to move forward with the planned auctions in 2020, although they will not publicly announce the winners so that project deadlines do not come into force immediately. BNetzA has said that successful bidders will receive a written assurance in the meantime to confirm that they have been awarded a contract, but the public announcement will come after the COVID-19 calms down and realistic project deadlines can be set.

Stimulus Package & Economic Support

On 25 March, Germany authorised a major stimulus package worth over €750 billion, which includes €600 billion for business loans and to buy direct stakes in critical industries and €156 billion in debt to finance higher social spending. While there are no measures specific to the wind industry, relevant measures include:

  • Program of Direct investments for syndicated financing;
  • Direct payments to SMEs;
  • Liquidity support for small and big companies;
  • Delay in payment of taxes.

Resources

Impact on Workforce

The Greek government has adopted strict containment measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 including a national lockdown that restricts everything but essential movement and economic activity, travel bans on foreigners from high-risk countries, and domestic travel restrictions.

The wind industry is fully operational as ‘Critical Operators’ under ‘essential services’ through reinforcing team and establishing alternate working locations.

Status of Wind Projects

On 2 April, Greece held their scheduled renewable energy auction as planned electronically as any document that was required in its physical form had already been submitted. The technology neutral auction awarded a total of 502.94MW, with wind accounting for 153MW.

The Hellenic Government has adopted a Legislative Act (OGJ A’75/30.3.2020), which has extended deadlines for installation licenses, binding grid connection offers, and connecting projects which have been selected through auctions by 4-6 months, depending on the expiry date. Deadlines which were originally set for 30 June 2020 are extended by 6 months, and deadlines that were originally set between 1 July 2020 and 21 December 2020 are extended by 4 months.

Administrative procedures related to grid access and connection rights assignment suspended during the crisis period.

Stimulus Package & Economic Support

The Greek government has announced a stimulus package in response to the crisis totalling €10 billion. While there are no wind or renewable specific measures included in the stimulus, other measures directed to wider business could be relevant to the wind industry such as:

  • Liquidity support to hard hit business through subsidised loans, loan guarantees, interest payment subsidies, and deferred payments of tax and social security contribution;
  • A €750 billion expansion of the country’s asset purchase program of private and public sector securities (Pandemic Mergency Purchase Program or PEPP) until end of 2020;
  • An expanded range of eligible assets uner the corporate sector purchase programme (CSPP).

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Impact on Workforce

Power generation, including renewable power generation is included as an essential service during India’s 21-day full lockdown announced pn tje 24 March 2020. The following is therefore still allowed for renewable energy power generation plants under the lockdown:

  • Permission for staff, associated workforce and vehicles to move around and movement of material and field engineers at renewable power generation sites, substations, transmission lines and towers, etc. with minimum manpower.
  • Allowing minimum staff required to work for renewable power generation sites and offices to ensure uninterrupted renewable power generation
  • Exemption for the Nationwide Lockdown, curfew or any other limitation on number of people to gather in locations like renewable power generation sites, substations, transmission lines and towers, etc, and other related locations where it may be required for O&M activities and associated equipment.
  • Availability of batteries/energy storage systems, electrical equipment, maintenance equipment, tractors/trucks and other required tools and plants for maintenance activities.
  • Allow round the clock permission to mobilise field staff to be able to reach and access electrical installations of renewable power generation.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) will be providing health and safety guidelines for the workforce deployed as above during the lockdown.

However, while O&M services continue to operate with a reduced workforce, to comply with the 21-day lockdown in India, both local and international turbine OEMs and components manufacturers have temporarily suspended their production activities in India. 

After extending the lockdown until the 3 May, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued an order on 14 April, stipulating revised lockdown measures. In this order it was announced that selected additional activities will be allowed from 20 April, but manufacturing facilities are unlikely to resume activities until 3 May due to the extended lockdown period and varied implemented restrictions by State government and local Authorities .

Since construction activities are allowed for wind or renewable projects, there are two main issues:

  1. Most site engineering teams have moved to their home residence since the national lockdown was implemented, also the Project Site, which are generally far from their sites.
  2. Construction work is allowed within the limits of municipal corporation and municipalities where workers are available on site i.e. it does not require to have workers brought in from outside to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Consequently, there are following concerns which will further delay the schedules:
  • There is a challenge in mobilising the team for logistics and transport movement;
  • Though transport has been allowed, there will be slow down as many interstate roadblocks are anticipated. Raw and engineering materials at the Port/Custom Bond Warehouses are currently pending for clearance, which may further delay the production schedule.
  • Factory management must rework on inventory and plan production levels, which will start initially at 25-30% availability and will later ramp up production in mid-May;
  • Post O&M operation of WTGs may be held, due to the non-availability materials or other critical components in the site office’s inventory.

Overall, it is expected that India’s annual wind turbine shipments will be reduced by about 30% and equipment supply may be delayed by more than 6 months.

India is the largest wind turbine production base after China in the Asia Pacific region, with annual wind turbine manufacturing capacity up to 10 GW. Suzlon Energy and Inox remaining as the top local suppliers with sizable market share in India today, the rest of market, about 75 per cent, is primarily shared by Siemens Gamesa, Vestas and GE.

When the COVID-19 crisis was first reported in China, disrupting China’s wind supply chain, large western turbine producers began shifting their supply chain by using their Indian facilities as a solution to mitigate the expected damages caused by COVID-19 at their production facilities in China. This strategy is not new, and was first adopted by European gearbox suppliers ZF and Winergy in 2018 to limit the damage imposed by the US- China trade war. However, the lockdown in India has now made this solution unworkable, and western turbine OEMs are now also facing the supply chain disruption challenge in Europe.

India is also one of the world’s largest wind gearbox manufacturing bases with nearly 10 GW of annual output. At present, ZF and Winergy have halted their production in India and NGC has also suspended the construction work at their upcoming new facility in Sri City. As India is a key wind gearboxes exporter to the US onshore wind market, the disruption of COVID-19 on Indian wind gearbox supply chain is not only expected to have negative impact on its home market, but also the current onshore wind installation rush in the US.

Status of Wind Projects

On 20 March, the MNRE announced that there will be an extension in scheduled commissioning dates for renewable energy projects considering the supply chain disruptions due to the spread of COVID-19 by enacting force majeure.

The renewable energy implementing agencies of the MNRE may grant suitable extension of time for projects based on evidence and documents produced by developers in support of their respective claims of supply chain disruptions caused by COVID-19. The extension will also take into consideration the period of the lockdown and time required for remobilisation of workforce.

According to GWEC’s pre-COVID market outlook, compared to 2021 and 2022, 2020 is expected to be a slow year for India. Issues pertaining to non-availability of grid and land have already been reported as the challenges impacting the new installations in 2020. Nonetheless, the decisions of MNRE are crucial for the domestic industry as a measure to ease the disruption on the supply chain caused by the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown.

Stimulus Package & Economic Support

Wind is considered as an essential service and the Indian government has issued an order to maintain a ‘Must Run’ status for wind farms and are preparing a package to ensure that the dues from the utilities (Discoms) are paid to the generators even though the demand for power has decreased due to the shutdown of commercial and industry establishments.

The Indian governement has approved an economic relief package for the power sector, however this does not include power generation sectors but rather focuses on distribution companies (discoms). The package includes a three month moratorium on state-owned electricity discoms and waiving penalties for late payments. On 6 April, the government also published guidelines for renewable power generators for issuing invoices to discoms as physical invoices may not be possible under lockdown measures. 

The government has no plans to back down from its ambitious target of 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022. Thus on 14 April, the MNRE asked state and port authorities to identify land parcels of 50-500 acres for setting up renewable energy manufacturing and export services hub, and has stated they will provide full support to companies planning to expand or set-up bases in India for manufacturing and export of services in the renewable energy sector. These measures will be a major relief for both the domestic and international supply chain are currently under. Moreover, the ministry hopes to put forth a fresh bid of 2000 MW of wind in the near future. 

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Impact on Workforce

On 16 April, the Japanese government declared a nationwide “State of Emergency” to stem the spread of COVID-19, which is an expansion of the declaration made by the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for seven prefectures on 7 April 2020.

The level of restriction in Japan is moderate compared to other countries. Almost all the factories, transportation, wind project operation and construction have been running business as usual. Nevertheless, according to Japan Wind Power Association (JWPA), the following concerns remain:  

  • As business trips to and from Europe have been banned, foreign supervisors cannot visit Japan and therefore WTGs trial operations may be suspended;
  • Wind project construction execution may be at the risk. Following the COVID-19 cases reported at construction sites, Japanese constructors Shimizu Co., one of the largest construction companies in Japan, Nishimatsu Co. and Toku Construction Co. began negotiations with their customers to halt construction work, this covers wider construction work and is not specific to just wind power. Potential delays in construction work at Tohoku and Hokkaido may cause significant impact on project commission execution, as project contractors must complete construction work before snowfall;
  • Negative impacts on the movement of O&M workforce and the flow of components and spare parts to local windfarms, as business trips are restricted nationwide by “State of Emergency”;
  • Delay of EIA and offshore wind site nomination as it becomes difficult to hold meetings with local residents and communities under the nationwide physical meetings restriction. If the situation lasts only a few months, it will not have a big impact. However, if the situation continues for more than six months, there will be a potential risk of one-year delay in the development of new projects.

Status of Wind Projects

According to GWEC Market Intelligence, Japan has a total cumulative installed wind power capacity of 3,923 MW by the end of 2019, of which 66 MW is offshore, making it the third largest wind market in Asia after China and India. For offshore alone, nearly 15 GW of wind projects were in the EIA pipeline in Japan as of January 2020. There is a strong sense of growing momentum at both a policy and business level, and many of the leading global players have now formed joint ventures with local Japanese companies and/or set up local operations.

2020 is expected to be an important year for the offshore wind sector in Japan with the awarding of contracts for the first wave of commercial projects, and the announcement of the framework for further competitive bidding rounds. In February 2020, GWEC and the Japan Wind Power Association set up a new Japan Offshore Wind Task Force representing the leading private sector stakeholders. This Task Force will play a key role in working with the government in the coming year, as well as produce a detailed Cost Reduction Study which will identify the different price scenarios as well as investment and industrialisation opportunities for the country’s offshore industry based on different volume projections.

Stimulus Package & Economic Support

As of 20 April, the Japanese government’s stimulus package to cushion the economic blow of the COVID-19 crisis has now reached ¥117.1 trillion, which is an additional ¥25.69 trillion compared to its original proposed stimulus package. The key measures comprise cash handouts to affected households and firms, deferral of tax payments and social security contributions, and concessional loans from public and private financial institutions.

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Impact on Workforce

The Mexican government has extended its measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 until 30 May, with plans to ease restrictions from 1 June onwards if these measures are successful. Wind power production is considered essential, but construction is not explicitly considered as such.

Most manufacturing facilities continue operations, following preventive measures to ensure the health and safety of the workers, but will potentiallyclose if government restrictions increase. A Nordex windblade facility that has halted production is now looking to re-open following the governement’s social distancing guidelines. 

There have been reports of the Mexican government shutting down factories that have not adhered to social distancing rules.

Status of Wind Projects

There are only early signals of potential construction delays, but it is expected that this condition will evolve along with new government restrictions and limitations to access supplies. Companies with projects under construction are following up continuously with suppliers, for any delays due to the sanitary emergency.

Mexico’s cement industry has halted production temporarily and is only supplying strategic government projects under an update Declaration. This will potentially impact projects under construction in Mexico.

Renewable energy associations in Mexico are actively engaging with policymakers to revise any policies that will be impacted due to the COVID-19 crisis as committed CODs will potentially be affected, by construction delays, and PPA deliveries could be impacted by permitting delays.

Stimulus Package & Economic Support

Very limited plans for stimulus have been announced to provide liquidity for micro & SMEs and general population. The Mexican Wind Energy Association (AMDEE) is working in coordination with the Mexican Business Council to lobby potential stimulus for the SME and general fiscal stimulus.

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Impact on Workforce

South Africa went into a 21-day national lockdown beginning on the 27 March 2020, and has extended this lockdown now until the end of April. As a result of the lockdown measures, one wind tower manufacturing facility has been closed and only critical maintenance of the operational wind farms is considered an essential service during the lockdown.

Status of Wind Projects

Energy demand in South Africa has dropped drastically during the lockdown. As a result, Eskom – the national power utility in South Africa – issued notices of intention to curtain wind power in order to stabilise the power system, considering that wind is peaking in the early morning during low demand periods. Because  of this, Eskom is claiming Force Majeure and refusing to pay power generators. The South African Wind Energy Association is currently in talks with Eskom on this issue.

Projects currently under construction have been declared non-essential, therefore sites have closed and construction has been halted during the lockdown period. There are twelve projects currently under construction, totalling 1.4 GW of capacity. The closure of borders has also been an obstacle to import components. However, most projects under construction are close to COD with most equipment already procured and delivered. Therefore while there are delays, impact is minimal.

It is possible the the CODs for projects under construction may be pushed out to later dates due to the lockdown period.

Furthermore, the wind industry is awaiting an announcement for a new procurement round by the end of 2020. Considering the uncertainty with regards to COVID-19, a delay is expected. The Integrated Resource Plan is already approved by the government, and process is underway to determine the capacities to be procured.

Stimulus Package & Economic Support

A stimulus package has not been decided yet by the South African government, but the renewables industry is getting ready to make submissions to the government by positioning wind energy as a key sector to revive the economy post-COVID-19.

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Impact on Workforce

The measures for lockdown in Spain were put in place on the 14 March when the government declared a atate of emergency to containt COVID-19 or Pandemia. The act guarantees the supply of food and promotes measures for social distance, while allowing movement for basic needs and “critical operators”, to take all the necessary measures (which includes labour force mobility) to ensure the supply of the “essential services” , in which the infrastructures of the energy sector are included. 

The measures for social distancing have been escalated on the 28 March, locking down all “non-essential supply industry” after 30 March. This does not effect activities related to ensure electricity supply as it is considered an essential service.

The wind power fleet in Spain, over 25GW and providing over 20 per cent of the country’s electricity supply in 2019, is full operational. Some operators are reinforcing their teams to ensure healthy labour management.

On 29 March, the government decided to ban all non-essential work for two weeks, from 30 March to 9 April, in a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19. To comply with the strict regulation, more than 15 wind turbine or component production facilities located in Spain have been temporarily suspended by large European turbine manufacturers including Siemens Gamesa (SGRE), Nordex Acciona, Vestas and GE/LM.

After the two-weeks ban on non-essential work was lifted, activities in the industrial and construction sectors were resumed in Spain. According to SGRE, after the Easter break, their production facilities in Spain have resumed normal activity. In addition, Vestas confirmed that their generator production facility located in Viveiro restarted full production on 13 April and their blade factory in Daimiel nearly reached the full utilisation rate.  

As Spain is one of Europe’s largest wind manufacturing bases as well as the home for major turbine producers Siemens Gamesa, Nordex Acciona and many other large component suppliers, GWEC believes that returning to business in the industrial and construction sectors in Spain is good news for both the domestic wind market, with1.5 GW expected to be built in 2020 according to our pre-COVID forecasts, and international wind market and supply chain.

 

Status of Wind Projects

2019 was a record year for wind energy installations in Spain, the country is therefore in a substantially favourable position to address the impact of the delays arising from the lock down in the supply chain. This is because the majority of projects still under development are not subject to completion COD, as it was in the case of recent existing operational capacity directly related to previous auctions.

There are still a number of administrative procedures related to grid access and connection rights assignment that have been suspended as the Emergency Decree has declared the suspension of the conditions  and interruption of deadlines for administrative proceedings under way.

On 4 April, the Spanish government announced that the nation-wide lockdown will now last at least 45 days (until at least 25 April at midnight), however, the ban of non-essential activities established on 29 March  will end on April 9, thus it is expected that the whole wind value chain will be able to resume activities, including manufacturing in addition to O&M and Construction from 10 April 10 onwards, bearing in mind that the Easter break starts on the 10 April.    

After connecting 2.3 GW onshore wind in 2019, the country is expected to bring another 1.5 GW online this year in order to meet the deadline of reaching its 2020 renewable energy target. The Spanish government has recently (31 March 2020) submitted its 2030 National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP), raising the country’s ambitions on greenhouse gas emission reduction to 23% compared to 1990 level. Spain is a powerhouse for renewable energy deployment with 25,7 gigawatts (GW) of total installed wind capacity. In 2019 Spain was Europe’s leading market for onshore wind. The PNIEC forecasts additional 22GW to be added to the energy mix coming from onshore but also offshore wind by 2030.

Stimulus Package & Economic Support

There are no specific measures taken for economic relief of the wind industry, however wider economic measures to support businesses, employees and employers can be relevant for the wind industry such as:

  • Protection for jobs: The raft of measures designed to strengthen job protection aim to prioritise the suspension of contracts and reduction of working days as an option prior to dismissing workers. Temporary adjustments to the workforce will be managed through the Temporary Job Regulation Programmes (Spanish acronym: ERTES). The ERTES caused by the COVID-19 crisis will be considered as a force majeure.
  • Liquidity of companies: The government has approved the creation of a line of public guarantees totalling 100 billion euros, which will allow between 150-200 billion euros to be released into the economy when including the private sector. The public authorities will help contractors mitigate the consequences of COVID-19 in public sector contracts. The government has also reformed the law on foreign investment to prevent companies from outside of the European Union taking control of Spanish businesses in strategic sectors, by taking advantage of the temporary drop in the value of their shares.

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Impact on Workforce

Electricity industry is categorised as a “critical sector” during the COVID-19 emergency. This means that workers in the sector can continue to fulfil their roles, and the industry is working with the UK government to develop health & safety guidelines in order to ensure that workers have minimal risk to COVID-19 exposure.

Status of Wind Projects

On 23 March, the Crown Estate announced that it revised its 7GW offshore wind leasing round schedule due to COVID-19. The first stage of the invitation to tender (ITT) will be open at the end of March, the week commencing March 30, while the submission window will be extended from seven to ten weeks.

Stimulus Package & Economic Support

No specific measures in place for the wind sector, however other economic relief measures in place for businesses in general that could apply to the wind industry such as: Job Retention Scheme; Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme; COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility; deferring VAT payments until June 2020.

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Impact on Workforce

Social distancing measures in place means that many companies have imposed travel restrictions, telework and other measures to protect their employees, but these measures vary in degree of impact on a state-to-state level. The status of key segments of the wind industry such  construction, manufacturing, transportation, permitting, monitoring, O&M and logistics are decided at the state-level.

EH&S Sub-Committee is currently developing a general health & safety wind industry pandemic guidance document which will encompass operations, construction, transportation logistics, manufacturing and training. It will cover different perspectives including that of: owners, contractors, OEMS, ISPs, & consultants.

Driven by parts and material delays directly caused by COVID-19 impacts on its international suppliers, Siemens Gamesa made the difficult decision on 6 April to furlough 100 employees at the Fort Madison, Iowa, facility and about 200 employees at the Hutchinson, Kansas facilities. At this point, SGRE anticipates this challenging situation will last three or four weeks, but as the world’s number two wind turbine OEM, it is doing everything they can to restore the supply chain as quickly as possible.  According to SGRE, the full operations will be resumed as soon as supplies become available. 

SGRE was the third largest turbine supplier in the US wind market with 16 per cent market share for new installations in 2019 and with more than 4 GW under construction or in advanced development. The disruption caused by the COVID-19 on production in its two US facilities is likely to impact its forecasted delivery plan in the US market this year.

Status of Wind Projects

Most developers have now received force majeure notices from component suppliers stating that deliveries may be delayed. This will impact the construction and project development timelines, with the potential risk that projects with not meet their placed-in-service deadlines thus putting PTC eligibility at risk. 

Other factors causing delays of project development include permitting delays, public hearing cancelations, interconnect queue delays, land-lease negoitation delays, as well as financing uncertainty due to the doubt surrounding safe harbour and PTC/ITC extensions. 

Stimulus Package & Economic Support

The phase three stimulus package in place by the US administration does not include tax credit extensions or direct pay provisions for wind or other renewables, but sources for GWEC Market Intelligence believe that the wind industry will be included in some capacity in the phase four stimulus package.

The wind industry in the US is calling on the phase four stimulus package to include provisions such as extending the PTC/ITC continuity safe harbor from four to six years for projects commencing construction after 31 December 2015 as well as securing a direct pay provision equal to 100% of the PTC/ITC value to address potential decreases in the availability of tax equity.

Under IRS Guidance, Technical Implications of PTC/ITC  to incur gap in continuous construction ; i)“Facts and circumstances” test or ii) “Excusable disruptions” clause. AWEA is seeking means to mitigate these potential impacts as unavailability of tax equity could adversely affect for projects seeking to qualify for PTC/ITC.

Measures such as lifting the Section 301 tariffs on  List 3 for a number of wind energy-related product codes and extending the PTC/ITC for companies unable to start construction at the end of 2020 and beyond due to delays caused by COVID-19 are also being called for by the wind industry as part of a broader economic stimulus.

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Impact on Workforce

There is currently no mandatory quarantine in place in Uruguay, citizens are simply encouraged to stay at home if they don’t need to leave their home. However citizens over the age of 65 years should not go out in any circumstance, and they are relieved of any obligation outside their homes.

As a result, there has not been any major interruptions to the domestic supply chain. Manufaturing facilities continue to operate as usual along with other segments of the supply such as O&M services and infrastructure with health & safety measures in place to limit the spread of the virus.

Uruguay has closed its borders to foreigners due to the COVID-19 crisis, which may impact companies engaged in international business.

Status of Wind Projects

There are currently no wind farms under construction in Uruguay, thus the COVID-19 crisis is not impacting any potential projects. Uruguay’s electricity supply is already 100% renewable, and the supply of wind energy to the grid has not been impacted by the crisis as it is considered an essential service.

Stimulus Package & Economic Support

Financial resources have been mobilised by the Uruguayan government to address the crisis, but none specific to the energy sector.

Relevant relief measures for wind businesses in Uruguay include:

  • Loan payments for businesses affected by the crisis are deferred for up to 180 days;
  • Loans for SMEs will be expanded from US$50 million to US$500 million;
  • BROU, the country’s largest commercial bank, will extend soft loans to enterprises.

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Impact on Workforce

On 31 March, Vietnam’s Prime Minister announced a nation-wide lockdown for two weeks as they combat the ‘second save’ of COVID-19. On 15 April, the Prime Minister announced that the lockdown will continue in 12 ‘high risk’ cities and provinces until 22 April. The ‘medium and low-risk’ cities and provinces will continue to implement social distancing measures to limit the spread of the virus.

While construction work is not allowed in some provinces during this time, there has not been any domestic manufacturing facilities closed during this time. However, Vietnam does rely on its neighbouring countries for its wind supply chain therefore delays in receiving components for projects is expected.

Borders remain closed for all foreigners entering Vietnam until further notice.

Status of Wind Projects

On 9 April 2020, Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) filed a report to the Prime Minister’s office proposing an extension for the wind Feed-in Tariff (FiT) that was set to expire in November 2021.  The key points of MOIT’s extension recommendation include:

  • Extend the period of the fixed Feed-in Tariff for wind power projects in Decision 39 to 31 December 2023.
  • Assign MOIT to propose to the Prime Minister a new Feed-in Tariff for wind power projects having commercial operation date from 1 November 2021 until the end of 31 December, 2023.
  • After 2023, wind power projects will be awarded through an auctioning mechanism.

The report cited several reasons for FiT extension, such as power shortages due to the delayed installation of some of the natural gas and coal projects, planning law impacts, the long construction timeline of wind projects, as well as the COVID-19 impact on the wind industry.

The GWEC Asia Team and South East Asia Task Force were pleased to hear this news after engaging with the MOIT over the past few weeks. Highlighting the impact of COVID-19 was especially important in the realisation of this proposal, as GWEC was the first organisation to present a full analysis of the impact on the wind industry to the MOIT to better highlight how the health crisis would impact supply chain, meeting project deadlines, and securing investor confidence. This is an important example that other governments can look to in order to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the wind industry and ensure that projects can continue to be developed without major penalties post-COVID-19.

According to GWEC Market Intelligence, Vietnam has a cumulative installed wind power capacity of over 487 MW by the end of 2019, making it the second largest wind market in South East Asia. Due to strong flows of foreign and domestic investors into Vietnam’s wind sector, the market is predicted to install approximately 4 GW of additional wind capacity by 2025, of which at least 1 GW will be offshore wind. GWEC believes a strong political commitment such as the FiT extension will be necessary to ensure steady growth of wind energy in Vietnam’s power system, to offer the prospect of a more competitive, cleaner, and more secure energy pathway.

Stimulus Package & Economic Support

Currently no measures specific to the wind industry, however, other relevant measures include:

  • Reduction and extension of tax obligations for SMEs
  • Local banks to reduce interest
  • EVN to reduce power prices by 10 per cent over next three months

Resources

GWEC will be holding regular Webcasts to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the wind sector to provide you with the most up-to-date information at both the global and country-level as the situation evolves. These Webcasts are free for everyone to join, see the library of webcasts along with registration links to our upcoming Webcasts below.

Upcoming Webcasts

 

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