As COVID-19 swept the globe, it has put hundreds of thousands of lives at risk and threatened to collapse the world’s strongest economies. But there is always a silver lining. In this case, COVID-19 did wonders for our environment. Ducks were seen walking on the streets of Paris, rivers have never been cleaner and air pollution levels were at all-time lows. So, despite the economic hit, all this mess hopefully made us realize the value of renewable energy.
Drop In Global Energy Demand And Carbon Emissions
Businesses across the world were put to a halt as the lockdown measures kept half of the world’s population in quarantine. This is estimated to cause a fall in global energy demand by 6%. Consequently, this year’s carbon emissions are set to decline by around 8%.
China is the world’s largest consumer of electricity and its factory shutdowns entail that 2020 will likely have a cut in energy consumption equivalent to the amount of power used across the whole of Chile. In European countries such as the UK, Spain, and Italy, where offices, factories, bars, restaurants, and theaters remain closed, energy use has fallen by an average of 10%.
Surged Demand For Renewables
The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that the demand for renewables will surge. COVID-19 induced measures of social distancing and lockdown measures propelled a shift towards more reliable and cleaner sources of energy. These sources are wind, hydropower, and solar photovoltaic (PV) where solar light energy is converted into electrical energy.
The recent drop in electricity demand fast-forwarded some power systems 10 years into the future, suddenly giving them levels of wind and solar power they wouldn’t have had otherwise without another decade of investment in renewables.
Solar Companies Are Going Full Speed Ahead Canadian Solar
Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ) announced a partnership in 200 Megawatt Tranquility Solar Power Project with Southern Power that will acquire about 51% of the solar generation project. Canadian Solar will retain 49% ownership. It has fully financed its investment needed to complete the project through a construction and back-leveraged loan facility with a syndicate of six banks.
Last Thursday, shares of JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd (NYSE: JKS), a China-based maker of solar modules, silicon wafers, solar cells, silicon ingots, and also a developer of solar farms, soared more than 12%. The market rejoiced that the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) has cleared JinkoSolar. It ruled that its products do not infringe South Korea’s Hanwha Q CELLS’s patents. The ruling should prevent Hanwha from interfering with Jinko’s marketing of its product. It will also prevent customs officials from seizing shipments based on an intellectual property violation.
COVID-19 will also not stop the growth of Solaredge Technologies Inc (NASDAQ: SEDG). Although it has created some near-term headwinds, the long-term growth story is still intact. Double-digit revenue growth and steady margins for the next 5+ years seem to be in the cards for this company.
The largest solar manufacturer, First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR), went a step further by backing carbon pricing for wholesale electricity. It also co-founded a global policy institute to support carbon pricing as a “cost-effective, equitable and politically viable climate solution.”
And don’t forget about midcaps which will be among those to pull the economy ahead of the recession. HyperSolar Inc (OTCPK: HYSR) is developing a disruptive low-cost technology to produce renewable hydrogen. And it will do so by using sunlight and water, but wastewater and seawater included. It’s quite active in China that accelerated the production of its renewable solar hydrogen panels.
Also, there are many ‘hybrid’ companies out there such as Worksport which combines solar technology with the automotive industry. Franchise International Holding Inc‘s (OTC: FNHI) subsidiary will launch the world’s first solar tonneau covers for pickup trucks.
Researchers are reporting the sharpest decline in greenhouse gas emissions since records began. Let’s not throw all that away. In April, Austria and Sweden announced the closure of their last remaining coal-fired plants. On April 29th, the UK’s grid operator declared that the country had not used coal for around 18 days straight. The last time this happened was during the Industrial Revolution. The pandemic provided a boost to renewable energy sources. Overall demand is expected to grow by 1% this year. Moreover, renewable electricity is expected to increase by 5%. COVID-19 is a terrible and scary enemy. But it has no say in how much the sun shines or the wind blows. All the industry needs now is stimulus, our awareness, and supporting green finance to keep the ball rolling.
This article is not a press release and is contributed by Ivana Popovic who is a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure . Ivana Popovic does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: [email protected] Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: [email protected] Questions about this release can be send to [email protected]
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