Renewable Roundup: The post- Coronavirus decarbonization is coming

  • Published on May 8th, 2020

Covid-19 has brought the Climate Denialists and Concern Trolls and Pundits-Telling-You-What-You-Really-Think out in force. It will destroy renewables and EVs and whatever. Or else it will demonstrate that we don’t actually need any of that pollution, and we can now go full electrons ahead with all of those profitable investments in saving the Planet Entire.

climate change global warming earth on fire

By Mokurai

But this is really nothing new, as it says in the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible. Also,

  • it was the best of times,
  • it was the worst of times,
  • it was the age of wisdom,
  • it was the age of foolishness,
  • it was the epoch of belief,
  • it was the epoch of incredulity,
  • it was the season of Light,
  • it was the season of Darkness,
  • it was the spring of hope,
  • it was the winter of despair,
  • we had everything before us,
  • we had nothing before us,
  • we were all going direct to Heaven,
  • we were all going direct the other way—

in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

– A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens

People in India can see the Himalayas for the first time in ‘decades,’ as the lockdown eases air pollution


There is a sort of enthusiasm in all projectors, absolutely necessary for their affairs, which makes them proof against the most fatiguing delays, the most mortifying disappointments, the most shocking insults; and, what is severer than all, the presumptuous judgment of the ignorant upon their designs.

Edmund Burke, once the Father of Conservatism, but lately just another lousy Liberal. He also said

It is a general popular error to suppose the loudest complainers for the publick to be the most anxious for its welfare.

Heightened focus on decarbonization likely post COVID-19 crisis — Utility Dive

The idea that taxpayers are more willing to pay for improved environmental, health and safety outcomes during favorable economic conditions is a common political axiom. Conversely, during challenging times, the mantra is typically to relieve short-term fiscal burdens to accelerate economic recovery.

Rubbish. Renewable energy investments are profitable, and reduce fiscal burdens on governments, companies, and the public while creating jobs and saving lives.


Apr 9, 2020 — The coronavirus outbreak likely will force government and business leaders to rethink their strategic planning for real estate assets. New construction planning should incorporate lessons from the market shutdown of COVID-19. The economics of investing in all-electric, digital, integrated systems can be much stronger in new construction than retrofit scenario planning, but decision-makers will have to shift from the status-quo, design-to-code approach. There are significant net zero, electrification and decarbonization policies globally that can help direct innovative best practices in new construction in the post-COVID-19 era.Technologies such as heat pumps (air source heat pumps for cool climates and ground source heat pumps for heating), variable refrigerant flow, energy management systems and EV charging infrastructure represent viable electric building options.


Apr 15, 2020 — Industrial production and electricity demand in Europe have dropped dramatically as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. This has also led to a drop in emissions. While the effects cannot be quantified precisely yet, recent estimates from market analysts suggest that emissions could easily fall by up to 25% in 2020.

All companies exposed to carbon pricing should take advantage of the current situation to mitigate future risks by taking steps to actually reduce emissions now.

Agenda / Decarbonizing Energy | World Economic Forum

Apr 15, 2020 — Furthermore, Victor points out that hard economic times are usually bad times to mobilize support for aspirational missions such as mitigating climate change which still has abstract benefits to many members of the public.

“The best polling data show that the public wants clean energy, to be sure, but they also want cheap energy,” Victor notes. “When pocketbooks are empty, every extra costs looks expensive.”

Oh, piffle! Persiflage! Malarkey!

Say it with me.




Mar 26, 2020 —  The pandemic’s economic impacts could hamper decarbonization’s progress.

More garbage.

Apr 16, 2020 – Will a climate-friendly postCOVID recovery require a Green New Deal? Or can we achieve significant clean energy and emissions progress …
Apr 9, 2020 – The economic crisis resulting from our response to COVID-19 is hitting energy intensive industries particularly hard. Airlines, hospitality …
Apr 21, 2020 – Will a climate-friendly postCOVID recovery require a Green New Deal? Or can we achieve significant clean energy and emissions progress …
Apr 14, 2020 – In a previous post, we made the point that the recovery phase can help … sense means also including longer-term criteria: decarbonization, …

Electric Vehicles

Post COVID-19, the global electric vehicle and electric vehicle …

1 day ago – Post COVID-19, the global electric vehicle and electric vehicle infrastructure market is projected to reach 4.18 million units by 2021 from an …
Apr 17, 2020 – The global electric vehicle relays market size will grow by USD 12.69 billion during 2019-2023.
2 days ago – China’s electric vehicle start-ups have pressed ahead with getting production … As China battled Covid-19 in the first three months of the year, …
Apr 21, 2020 – The COVID-19 crisis has hit the electric vehicle (EV) market in two body-blows: supply and demand. Under mandatory quarantine orders, many …
2 days ago – India Business News: CHENNAI: With more and more Indians adopting the social distancing norms, the private vehicle sector is poised to …
Apr 8, 2020 – Despite what naysayers are trying to say, the electric vehicle (EV) … We even posted a video by well-known YouTuber Ben Sullins here in …
Post COVID-19, market size is projected to reach 4.18 million units by 2021 from an estimated 3.42 million units in 2020, at a CAGR of 22.1%. The projection for …
Mar 19, 2020 – After the virus appeared in China, auto sales there fell 80 percent last month. … And that could be especially bad news for electric vehicles.
Apr 13, 2020 – Coming into the COVID-19 crisis, sales of electric vehicles were picking up. From 2011 to 2019, annual electric vehicles sales increased …


Apr 6, 2020 – “COVID-19 has slowed battery storage supply chains, since the … “new opportunities for energy storage will emerge after the outbreak is …
Apr 16, 2020 – Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, the outlook for energy … A total of 2.7 GW of grid-connected battery energy storage was deployed … After a very weak 2019, and a conservative outlook for 2020, major Asian …
Apr 23, 2020 – Credit: Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty Images … It would be the largest battery storage project in the world, with the ability to generate …
Mar 23, 2020 – How we react to the coronavirus outbreak is crucial for society as a whole and the solar and energy storage industries can lead the charge in …
Apr 16, 2020 – COVID-19 hits clean energy jobs, but storage companies could be … plans to reduce their workforce until after the second quarter of the year.
Mar 26, 2020 – The COVID-19 pandemic may cause short-term delays and hiccups for distributed … A poll of 175 members conducted by the U.S. Energy Storage … under SGIP, and 700 people used it in the first week after launch, he said.
Known for its bullish forecasts regarding renewable energy markets, the research firm modified its near-term energy storage outlook, however. The latest scenario ” …
Apr 17, 2020 – SEIA, the Energy Storage Association (ESA) and others also want to see the federal ITC extended to storage-only projects. Right now, energy …
Apr 20, 2020 – The Power Sector’s Most Crucial COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies … Oxnard went with battery storage after rejecting NRG’s plan for the 262-MW …
Apr 6, 2020 – Looking ahead, one trend to keep an eye on post-2020 is hybrid energy storage. As noted in Wood Mackenzie’s analysis, one-third of all storage …

Mass Transportation

How Did Shenzhen, China Build World’s Largest Electric Bus Fleet?

To help Shenzhen become the first city in the world to convert its entire public bus fleet to electric buses, China’s national government provided a subsidy of $150,000 per bus. Similar incentives could be included in new stimulus packages to help cities get over the initial procurement hump and begin to reap the significant air quality and greenhouse gas emission benefits of electric buses.

Apr 23, 2020 — Coronavirus pandemic lockdowns are putting an incredible strain on public transit systems worldwide. Transit ridership is down between 50-90%, on top of a long-term decline in many places. San Francisco’s BART system is losing $55 million a month, from decreased ridership and less sales tax revenue. In Brazil, reports show a daily loss of more than R$1 billion ($188 million).

While emergency interventions may be necessary to keep systems afloat in the short term, governments should also be thinking long term. Public transport is one investment that can create jobs quickly while reducing carbon emissions, making roads safer and improving people’s access to jobs and other opportunities.

Public transport can create and maintain jobs more quickly than other transportation investments. A study of the effects of the last large economic stimulus in the United States, after the Great Recession, found that public transport investments generated 31% more jobs per dollar than new construction of roads and bridges, and repair work on roads and bridges generates 16% more jobs per dollar than new bridge and road construction.

Beyond being a green stimulus investment, public transport offers wider benefits to society, since it is more efficient than private vehicle use, emits less greenhouse gas per person and spews less air pollution, which kills more than 7 million people every year. It is also much safer than widespread use of private vehicles, which can help stem the rising tide of road deaths.

How COVID-19 will redesign urban mobility | GreenBiz (Via Internet Archive Wayback Machine)

Apr 15, 2020 —  Hints of early data (PDF) and anecdotes coming out of China (Italian) suggest that new car sales in areas affected by quarantines, such as Wuhan, have come soaring back after the cities have started to open back up. Why? Partly because customers “see personal vehicles as safer than public transport.”

That’ll be a worrisome trend if a rise in new vehicles sold comes mainly from those using internal combustion engines. Policies — incentives and mandates — will be needed to try to ensure a portion of those vehicles are electric.

post-pandemic world has the potential to have better urban mobility.

Likewise, the massive drop in air pollution in polluted cities such as Los Angeles is showing cities that by slashing car use, the air is almost instantly cleaner. Cities need to follow up on this emergence of clean air with policies and incentives that continue to spur things such as telecommuting and electric commuter buses.

Will COVID-19 Sound The Permanent Death Knell For Public Transport? — Forbes

Apr 28, 2020 — Progress will move on better, more comfortable, more efficient forms of transport, which combined with management of road lanes can handle the load. At the same time, more futuristic approaches, like cheap tunnels and electric flight will develop, though they won’t be in wide use for years to come. They offer the potential though, for a city that’s very pleasant for pedestrians and residents, and very walkable.

Apr 16, 2020 — Fears that COVID-19 will draw people back to cars and away from more sustainable forms of transportation are misconstrued.

While car ridership might increase in the short-term recovery, data showing increases in bike ridership is also consistent around U.S. cities. Just as cities will continue to innovate and grow, shared sustainable transportation will remain a necessity to facilitate this growth.

When confronted with times of uncertainty, it is often best practice to recall historic events in anticipating what the path forward looks like. An often-cited case of urban resilience is that of the Cholera pandemic that spread across the globe throughout the 1800s. As bacteria from sewage leaked into the water supply around urban centers, innovators rose to the challenge to create the first modern wastewater system to prevent sewage leakage. Not only did these wastewater systems save lives, but they also allowed cities like New York and London to grow, become denser, and transform into the cultural and economic capitals they are today.
Apr 23, 2020 — There is a great opportunity for transit agencies to embrace new technologies and new approaches to improve customer experience. Making customer experience a priority could help transit agencies in their recovery efforts from the COVID-19 pandemic.
They insist that now’s the time to make big changes about how to use the roads. “The argument now switches to why should we open up the roads the way they were? They don’t work. Let’s keep these habits broken once they are broken,” Regan said. “We have an opportunity to change the way people commute before we open back up the economy.”

“FTA is advising transit agencies to take action to reduce the likelihood that transit employees and members of the public contract or spread the virus that causes COVID-19, consistent with CDC and OSHA guidance,” said FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams.

Federal funding is available to help the nation’s public transportation systems respond to COVID-19 through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

Apr 24, 2020 – Public transport operators have reacted quickly to adjust their operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first set of measures aim to minimize the risk of contagion. The second category of measures is intended to adjust transport operations themselves

We see at least five broad categories of recovery actions to consider, from shorter to longer term.
These are mostly financial measures to keep public transportation afloat.
Review fleet upgrading programs (e.g., electric buses).

See, now you’re talking.

The coronavirus is sending public transit into a death spiral — Axios

Unless we do something about it, of course. Like deciding that mass transit is a social good that is worth the investment.

Apr 8, 2020 – New York’s MTA has had more than 1,100 employees test positive for COVID-19, while 5,600 have been quarantined — and 33 have died.

Public transit systems across the country are experiencing a painful trifecta: Ridership has collapsed, funding streams are squeezed, and mass transit won’t bounce back from the pandemic nearly as fast as other modes of transportation.

Why it matters: Transit agencies could see an annual shortfall of as much as $38 billion due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to TransitCenter. At the same time, they’re more important than ever, with more than 36% of essential workers relying on public transportation to get to work.

In the short term, transit experts expect the $2 trillion stimulus package — which allocated $25 billion for public transit agencies — to help agencies maintain minimal levels of service for essential workers.

  • In the long term, many expect to need additional funding from the next relief installment passed by Congress. President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have signaled the desire to allocate money for infrastructure.

The Hydrogen Economy

6 days ago — Looking to a more environmentally-friendly future after the coronavirus, Portugal is preparing a handful of multi-billion projects including a new hydrogen plant and will revive a delayed solar auction in June, a minister said.

Work to build the solar-powered hydrogen plant near the port of Sines will start within a year and could attract up to 5 billion euros ($5.43 billion) in private investment, Environment Minister Joao Matos Fernandes told Reuters.

The plant could start producing “green” hydrogen, a cleaner energy source than fossil fuels, by 2023 via electrolysis – a process using electricity to split water – and the aim is for one gigawatt by 2030, he said in the telephone interview late on Wednesday.

“The economy cannot grow along the lines of the past and our post-coronavirus vision is to create wealth from projects that reduce carbon emissions and promote energy transition and sustainable mobility,” Fernandes said.

Apr 17, 2020 – With the coronavirus pandemic and the shutdown of big parts of the European economy, the 2x40GW Green Hydrogen Initiative can serve as a blueprint for a bigger EU recovery, Hydrogen Europe Secretary General Jorgo Chatzimarkakis told New Europe on April 16.

The 2x40GW Green Hydrogen Initiative aims to promote a massive increase of electrolyser production within the EU in order to support green hydrogen production.

(Crossposted with DailyKos.)


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