Covid-19 daily bulletin

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German battery storage company Tesvolt said it had started production at its new gigafactory in Germany despite Covid-19 disruption. Orders rose threefold in the first quarter, compared to the same period of last year but the company said it was unsure how coronavirus containment measures would affect production.

China-based German consultancy the Asia Europe Clean Energy (Solar) Advisory has revised down its prediction of the amount of new solar generation capacity to be added in China this year. The figure has come in from 34.5-37.5 GW to 23-31 GW although the consultancy stated: Facing an unprecedented global crisis, currently in full swing, no end in sight yet, this present forecast is bound to be adjusted again in due course.”

Brazil has postponed the A-4 energy auction planned for this month as well as the A-6 exercise due later in the year. Citing the nation’s unfolding Covid-19 crisis, the Ministry of Mines and Energy said it hoped normal service would resume after the public health crisis abated.

Industry body SolarPower Europe and 31 other renewables and energy efficiency associations have urged the European Commission to put clean energy and energy saving at the heart of any Covid-19 fiscal stimulus package. The solar trade body pointed out PV was the lowest cost renewable energy option and cited a recent study by the commission’s Joint Research Center which stated two-thirds of the bloc’s solar rooftop potential could generate power for less than residential tariffs. The organizations said zero-carbon buildings and measures for clean transport and industry should be at the heart of Europe’s post-coronavirus future.

By contrast, English consultancy Cornwall Insight has suggested the U.K. government may “constrain” wind power but keep thermal plants operating to cope with grid problems such as system inertia and rate of change of frequency – how quickly the network adapts to changing conditions. The consultancy suggested wind could suffer – and presumably, by extension, solar – as a result of electric demand plunging due to the Covid-19-driven shutdown of non-essential shops and industry. Cornwall said demand was down 13% last Wednesday, a day after the government declared a coronavirus lockdown, compared to the same date last year.