Covid-19 weekly updates: 4-8 May

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

The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has hit supply chains and forced companies to reconsider strategies (pic credit: US Army)
The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has hit supply chains and forced companies to reconsider strategies (pic credit: US Army)

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Nordex scraps guidance

Nordex withdrew its guidance for the 2020 financial year due to continuing uncertainty about the duration and severity of disruptions caused by the ongoing pandemic.

It explained that it could no longer provide a “realistic and robust estimation of Nordex’s performance”.

The manufacturer joined Vestas, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy and TPI Composites in scrapping financial guidance for 2020 due to Covid-19.

Virus hits OEMs’ finances

Vestas recorded an operating loss of €112 million in Q1 2020, despite a 29% year-on-year increase in revenue to €2.23 billion.

Logistical challenges and supply chain bottlenecks caused by the coronavirus squeezed project margins, while spending to shield itself from the pandemic had a “negative impact”, it stated.

Meanwhile, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) reported similar problems, with the coronavirus causing a €56 million shortfall in its Ebit in the first three months of the calendar year.

It posted a €165 million net loss in the second quarter of its financial year, which runs from October to September.

Green letter day

A growing chorus of voices within the wind industry is calling for clean energy to be at the core of post-coronavirus economic recovery.

This week, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) penned an open letter making the industry’s case for wind to be a “key building block” of post-virus stimulus packages.

It was signed by leading manufacturers such as Vestas, SGRE, Nordex and Goldwind, as well as developers including Iberdrola, Ørsted, and EDP Renewables.

Wind congresses adapt

Social-distancing protocols have prompted organisers of the wind industry’s biggest trade shows to adapt.

WindEnergy Hamburg has been pushed back from September to December, while AWEA’s first CleanPower event will take place online rather than in Denver, Colorado.

Analysts at Bloomberg New Energy Finance had previously warned that cancelled trade events and company travel bans might mean some wind power companies miss out on networking opportunities and opportunities to learn about new industry trends.

Storage costs compared

With the influx of renewables on the grid in recent years and the slump in demand due to Covid-19 health crisis, the price of oil has plummeted. 

So is there a case to be made to store up oil at these low costs for when times are hard? Or should the global pandemic be the catalyst to leaving oil in the ground? 

This week, Windpower Monthly took a look at some of the figures.

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

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