Covid-19 weekly updates: 27 April - 1 May

Here are the key ways that the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has impacted the wind power industry over the past week.

Lockdown measures have caused global energy and electricity demand to decline (pic: Ian Art/Wikimedia Commons)
Lockdown measures have caused global energy and electricity demand to decline (pic: Ian Art/Wikimedia Commons)

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Results may vary

Offshore wind developers appear to be faring better than turbine manufacturers, according to companies’ first-quarter results published this week.

Despite expressing concern about the impacts of the pandemic in the medium-term, Ørsted and Vattenfall claimed the health crisis had minimal impact on their first-quarter financials.

However, the supply-chain disruption caused by the pandemic dragged GE Renewable Energy down in Q1 as it remains in the red. 

Demand decline

Global energy demand fell 3.8% in Q1 2020, due to the lockdown measures imposed in response to the pandemic, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Coal, oil, and gas demand all slumped in the first three months of the year, while renewables demand increased driven by larger installed capacity and priority dispatch.

The IEA expects this to trend to continue in 2020 as lockdowns continue. It believes renewables will increase their share of global electricity output this year, while demand for coal and gas crashes.

Dickson: ‘Slowdown highlights need for investment’

WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson believes Covid-19 could delay 30% of European installations planned for 2020.

These setbacks make it even more crucial to continue investment in the wind sector and for governments to put auction schemes in place to ease financing.

Renewables losing edge?

Renewables’ cost-competitiveness may be tested by plunging oil prices, warned BloombergNEF’s chief economist Seb Henbest.

Financing costs and commodity prices would be key factors in whether renewables or fossil fuels would have the edge on cost, he suggested.

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

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