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Solar, Wind Energy Struggle as Coronavirus Takes Toll

Completed wind turbines stand on a hilltop at the Reading Wind Facility in Reading, Kansas., on Monday, April 27, 2020. Although the wind power project has experienced some delays in delivery of some foreign-sourced parts and had to implement social distancing measures, the project is on schedule to be completed in the next few weeks. (AP Photo)



NEW YORK (AP) — The US renewable energy industry is reeling from the new coronavirus pandemic, which has delayed construction, put thousands of skilled labourers out of work and sowed doubts about solar and wind projects on the drawing board.


In locked-down California, some local agencies that issue permits for new work closed temporarily, and some solar companies furloughed installers.


In New York and New Jersey, SunPower CEO Thomas Werner halted installation of more than 400 residential solar systems, fearing for his workers’ safety.


As many as 120,000 jobs in solar and 35,000 in wind could be lost, trade groups say.


“There are many smaller companies going out of business as we speak,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president of the Solar Energy Industries Association. “Up to half our jobs are at risk.”


Leaders are confident the future is bright. But the worldwide slowdown is delaying a transition to cleaner energy that scientists say is not happening quickly enough to curtail climate change.


Even as some states move toward reopening, executives fear diminished incomes and work disrupted by lay-offs and social distancing will do lasting damage.






Category/ies:Global Renewable Energy News, Renewable Energy, Wind energy.
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