Covid-19 weekly updates: 20-24 April

Manufacturing slowdowns prompted wind power companies to abandon financial predictions and unveil mass lay-offs in a week in which future oil prices crashed below zero. Here are five key ways that the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has impacted the wind power industry over the past week.

The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted supply chains, manufacturing operations, project execution and reduced power demand(pic credit: Alan Camerer/Public Domain Pictures)
The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted supply chains, manufacturing operations, project execution and reduced power demand(pic credit: Alan Camerer/Public Domain Pictures)

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Vestas axes jobs

Vestas announced it will lay off approximately 400 employees and end production of its V138-3.0MW turbine model as part of a cost-cutting strategy as the ongoing pandemic squeezes supply chains and profit margins.

Most of the job cuts will take place in Denmark and in the company’s manufacturing and technology segments.

Post-virus recovery

Leading figures at turbine manufacturers MHI Vestas and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) argued the case for using post-virus stimulus packages to aid the energy transition.

Risk to Australia and Asia Pacific

Market analysts warned of renewable energy projects being delayed or cancelled as the pandemic creates obstacles to financing, manufacturing and construction.

Final investment decisions for about 900MW of Australian wind farms are at risk, according to Rystad Energy, while Wood Mackenzie suggested up to 150GW of wind and solar capacity across Asia Pacific could be delayed or cancelled over  the next five years.

Expectations clouded

Both SGRE and TPI Composites withdrew financial guidance for 2020 citing uncertainty amid the pandemic.

Plant closed after outbreak 

Blade manufacturer LM Wind Power closed its plant in North Dakota, United States after more than 100 confirmed coronavirus cases were linked to the facility.

Its parent company GE has closed the Grand Forks site for two weeks to carry out an extensive disinfection process.

For updates on how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting the wind power industry, please follow Windpower Monthly’s blog.

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