On Thursday May 14, McDermott was joined by Gregory Wetstone, president and chief executive officer of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) to discuss the latest market updates on the severe disruption and uncertainty brought on the renewables industry by COVID-19.
Five takeaways from this week’s webinar:
- 1. There is no clear insight yet into what a congressional relief package regarding renewable energy might look like, despite the fact that congress is discussing its fifth COVID-19-related response bill.
- 2. Even though the outlook was already pessimistic, clean energy job loss has been worse than expected; there has been a loss of 94,000 jobs in the renewable sector between March and April and 600,000 additional unemployment claims across the clean energy sector.
- 3. Renewables have a great potential to continue to be part of the nation’s economic recovery; two of the fastest growing job categories in the nation have been wind turbine technicians and solar panel installer.
- 4. Senior Department of Energy officials have reassured that the recent bulk power executive order is a continuation of existing policies regarding transmission corridors and is not targeted at renewables, which are recognized as valuable for national security. See the Office of Electricity’s Q&A and contact email for a response to President Trump’s signed Executive Order, “Securing the United States Bulk-Power System” and join McDermott on May 21 for a legal analysis of the EO.
- 5. The commerce department is undertaking an investigation which could lead to the imposition of additional tariffs, particularly in regards to transformers; the timing for these tariffs (if enacted) is likely right before the election.
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