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Emerging Solar Strategies How Innovative Companies are Using Solar to Reduce Energy Costs
| April 29, 2018
GIGA Solar is a Hi-Tech corporation with its core business in R&D, manufacturing and sales of high performance silicon solar cells and panels
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.
Policymakers looking to rebuild our economy must keep in mind peoples’ needs for the future after this public health crisis. Now, medical and safety needs for frontline workers are the first priority. Thinking about recovery, strengthening policies for the clean power sector and the people who work to build a cleaner and more robust energy supply will make us healthier in the future. Congress can rebuild the economy with smarter investments in clean energy which will also lower the costs of electricity.
The effect that fossil fuels are having on the climate emergency is driving an international push to use low-carbon sources of energy. At the moment, the best options for producing low-carbon energy on a large scale are wind and solar power. But despite improvements over the last few years to both their performance and cost, a significant problem remains: the wind doesn't always blow, and the sun doesn't always shine. A power grid that relies on these fluctuating sources struggles to constantly match supply and demand, and so renewable energy sometimes goes to waste because it's not produced when needed.
The various impacts are occurring both now and into the future. Most changes don’t bode well for acting on climate change and transitioning to cleaner energy. Global carbon dioxide emissions are likely to drop this year, due to the global economy faltering. That’s not a silver lining to the novel coronavirus. It’s like a person who loses weight while sick. It’s a byproduct of a bad situation and by definition should and will not last. Indeed, since the Industrial Revolution, the world’s emissions have not gone down except briefly during economic crises. These incidents merely show how difficult it is to reduce emissions in an economically sustainable way.
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