With staff at the Hohenstein-Ernstthal German site operated by Swiss solar production equipment supplier Meyer Burger having been working reduced hours since March 16, the embattled company this morning announced the measure would be extended to its Swiss sites in Thun and Hauterive, in response to the Covid-19 crisis and to reduce personnel costs. The directors and executive board have agreed to surrender 15% of their board remuneration and salaries during the public health crisis “as a sign of solidarity” and to help the company. Meyer Burger also announced its Dutch operation had completed the sale of its PixDRO inkjet printing business to Munich-based semiconductor company SÜSS MicroTec SE for CHF4.1 million (€3.88 million).
The French government has announced three measures to help renewable energy developers experiencing project-related problems thanks to Covid-19 disruption. Minister of the Ecological and Inclusive Transition Elisabeth Borne said already-relaxed project commissioning deadlines will be extended, along with various tender submission dates, and the government had reversed a planned reduction in the payments made for small rooftop PV arrays which had been due to kick-in yesterday.
The COP26 UN climate change conference set to take place in Glasgow in November has been postponed due to Covid-19. Dates for a rescheduled conference in 2021, hosted in Glasgow by the U.K. in partnership with Italy, will be set out in due course following further discussion with all the relevant parties.
U.S.-owned consultancy Wood Mackenzie has predicted Covid-19 will reduce global energy storage deployment around 19% from its original estimate for this year – equating to around 3 GWh for a still-record-breaking 12.6 GWh. Lithium-ion battery supplies will be down around 10% because of the restrictions imposed on workers in China, despite producers in Japan and South Korea having ramped up production as China struggled to contain the epidemic earlier this year.
U.S. utility NRG Energy has announced it will commit $2 million (€1.84 million) worth of personal protective equipment (PPE) and cash to emergency first responders, local business and community relief funds and teachers, to support them during the Covid-19 crisis. The energy company, which develops renewables alongside coal, oil and nuclear-powered generation, said it would also beef up its Employee Relief Fund.
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