Clean energy power plants will figure prominently as Queensland and Victoria bid to reset their economies for a post-coronavirus world. France suffered a hit to its new solar deployment figures in the first half of a Covid-hit year but its neighbor appears to have no such concerns.
Some 81% of the everyday folk asked how the U.K. should realize its net zero 2050 ambition said solar should be part of the mix and views were also aired on electric and hydrogen transport, home heating and how to incentivize companies to embrace a circular manufacturing model.
KilowattSol CEO Xavier Daval has criticized the absence of references to solar in the French government’s post-Covid recovery plan, which has allocated €30 billion to the energy transition. The head of the PV technical advisory says solar must become more central to France’s strategic choices and China must not be allowed to retain its near-monopoly on PV panel manufacturing.
The annual EU PVSEC conference got under way virtually this morning via an online platform since the planned event in Lisbon could not go ahead due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Opening presentations revealed an air of optimism in the PV industry, amid expectations of a rapidly rising share in the energy mix, growing conversion efficiencies, advancing technology pathways and innovative solutions to the problem of integrating high levels of PV into electricity grids.
The EU Council has rejected a Covid-inspired European Commission proposal for a €40 billion warchest to help coal-dependent regions shift to renewables, with the heads of member states instead allocating €17.5 billion. Despite the final figure being €10 billion higher than that suggested by the commission before coronavirus battered Europe, questions have been asked about how useful the program will be.
Plus, analyst WoodMac says a fall in the cost of power generation in Japan during the public health crisis will help drive renewables investment and the Indian government has relaxed borrowing rules for its financially crippled electric utilities.
A nation famous for high electricity prices has seen power costs fall 15% this year, according to analyst Wood Mackenzie, a figure which will help attract $100 billion of solar and wind investment to 2030. Renewables will have to work even harder, however, to displace fossil fuels in hydrogen production.
Covid-19 hits to demand and bill payment collection have worsened the plight of the nation’s already debt-crippled power distribution companies, prompting the government to order an exceptional relaxation of lending limits.
Negative second-quarter updates from China and uber-low new-solar figures from India, however, show the world is far from out of the woods yet.
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