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Avelar was founded in December 2006 with the aim of building two businesses a vertically integrated energy company and a leading European renewable energy business focusing on solar energy.
Article | April 6, 2020
As businesses shut down and many work from home around the world, electricity demand has reduced in COVID-19 hotspots. This could have a knock-on effect for the renewable sector. China, where the outbreak first took hold, is the world’s biggest electricity consumer. Output from factories has been substantially diminished with many unable to return to their jobs in manufacturing. Due to the curtailing of industrial electricity use, cuts in energy consumption for 2020 could be equivalent to the power used by the whole of Chile, according to IHS Markit. In Europe, peak power consumption has also gone down. Italy, Spain, and the UK have all seen an average 10 per cent drop in energy usage with bars, restaurants, offices and factories, which remain closed as social distancing measures continue.
Both renewable power projects and conventional energy operations have felt the constriction of global supply chains, which are currently being limited in a global effort to fight and contain the spread of the virus. Many manufacturers of wind turbines and their critical components are based in Asia, such as Goldwind in China, as well as producers of photovoltaic panels and batteries (particularly lithium). Market reticence about bringing in products from affected areas has seen significant constriction in the importation of these materials and parts - the price of batteries has dropped by 60%, owing to the industry’s concentration in Asia.
The U.S. renewables industry was left out of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill passed last week, but the battle is far from over. Congress is already considering further legislation to rescue the economy from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic, and renewable energy groups are ready to bring their proposals back to the table. As with the last stimulus bill, the industry's plans center on securing changes to two federal policies: the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar power and the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind power. Renewables groups have a powerful claim to make as they push for those changes: Unlike many of the industries seeking hundreds of billions of dollars in collective aid, the desired tweaks to the renewable tax credits would not add significantly to the federal government's costs.
2020 may turn out to be the year of the battery. The Trump administration has made grid-level battery backup a focus of its Energy Storage Grand Challenge -- an effort to create an all-American supply chain for advanced battery technologies. Meanwhile, Texas, which is the only state to run its own electricity grid, is offering up to $9000 a megawatt-hour for peak summer battery power. And on the other side of the world in South Australia, Tesla has been asked to up the capacity of its mammoth battery in the desert to 193.5 megawatt-hours, or about double the storage capacity of the entire Texas state grid.
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