Covid-19 weekly round-up: Dormant MiaSole claims Covid support in the US as Indian new solar figures slumped


A Washington Post database of companies which have received payroll support loans from the U.S. government to help continue paying staff during the Covid-19 pandemic indicates the MiaSole U.S. business owned by Chinese thin-film solar manufacturer Hanergy received $5-10 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) awards signed off in April, to help pay a 160-strong workforce. Hanergy furloughed almost all its U.S. staff in December and MiaSole is understood to have been shut down, with only a reported skeleton staff retained, since. It is thought the grants may have been used to backpay staff, although that is not how PPP funds are meant to be used.

pv magazine Australia reporter Blake Matich has considered how the world, including the solar industry, is becoming more local amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Analyst Bridge to India said the nation added just 351 MW of solar capacity in the April-to-June period, less than the 500 MW anticipated, because of an extended Covid-19 lockdown and resultant restrictions on the movement of people and goods. The analyst expects 4,720 MW to be commissioned in the second half of the calendar year.

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U.S. analyst WoodMac has predicted Japan will attract $100 billion of solar and wind power investment this decade after a Covid-19-related slump in energy demand and the associated oil price crash helped drive down power generation costs 15% this year, in a nation renowned for high electricity prices.

The Indian government has ordered a one-off relaxation of the borrowing limits for cash-strapped state power distribution companies which owed an estimated $15.9 billion to power generators at the end of June, citing Covid-19-related slumps in electricity demand and payment collection complications as having worsened the already dire plight of the ‘discoms.’


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