Covid-19 daily bulletin: Climate change, trade shows and hope

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Rio Tinto Chairman Simon Thompson is urging governments across the world to take “urgent” action on climate change, despite the twin threats of Covid-19 and economic recession. The call comes amid criticism that Rio Tinto’s own emission reductions schemes are too weak. Thompson is not alone in his call for “urgent” action in these unprecedented times, but it is telling that Rio Tinto can see light at the end of the tunnel, and encouraging to know that the mining industry is finally learning the value of clear skies.

In light of all the trade shows and industry events that have been canceled throughout the world due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many solar companies and industry leaders have been moving online, with virtual presentations, information sessions, and product debuts to get you through quarantine. Trade shows are a vital part of any industry, as they allow companies to show off new products in an intimate setting, while hosting discussions with other industry leaders and meeting clients. Yet due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a number of upcoming trade shows and conferences – including Bloomberg New Energy Finance 2020, MidWest Solar Expo, and Clean Power Expo – have been canceled or postponed.

In a recent interview with pv magazine, K.R. Harinarayan – the founder and CEO of U-Solar Clean Energy – discussed the impact of India’s Covid-19 lockdown on the company’s solar EPC projects, and how the Bangalore-based PV developer is utilizing this time productively. “There may be a drop in prices as Chinese solar module manufacturers have been forced to stockpile their modules. However, this is strongly dependent on international demand,” said Harinarayan. “U-Solar does estimate shifts in project timelines to accommodate for the situation we are dealing with at a global level. Costs of materials and equipment are dependent on market conditions once import business resumes, and so our assessment is experienced speculation.”

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Manz, meanwhile, revealed today that its employees will return to work at two locations in Germany as planned after the Easter break, despite ongoing concerns about the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the PV production equipment supplier – known for its fully integrated CIGSfab turnkey manufacturing lines for the production of thin-film PV modules – said that some employees at its facilities in Reutlingen and Tübingen will continue to work from home due to travel restrictions that remain in place throughout Germany.

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