U.S. Energy News

Stay-at-home energy use redrawing the solar ‘duck curve’

GRID: An analysis of an Austin, Texas, neighborhood shows stay-at-home orders are causing people to use a lot more electricity at home, especially for air conditioning, redrawing the so-called solar “duck curve.” (Greentech Media)

ALSO:
• The world’s data centers and internet infrastructure are experiencing an unprecedented spike in usage amid shelter-in-place orders. (GreenBiz)
A new report says overall power demand will fall substantially into 2021 as the economy slips into recession from the coronavirus pandemic. (Greentech Media)

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COAL:
• As electricity demand drops due to the coronavirus, coal stockpiles are growing outside power plants, which may run out of space to store more. (E&E News)
• An environmental think tank projects that nearly half of the world’s coal-fired power plants will be unprofitable this year. (Reuters)
• Powder River Basin miners say employers aren’t serious enough about the coronavirus pandemic, and are concerned about the lack of enforcement of safety guidelines. (Wyoming Public Media)

OIL & GAS:
• A bipartisan group of Texas lawmakers call for a $3 billion federal purchase of oil to prop up the industry and replenish the nation’s strategic reserve. (Dallas Morning News)
An analysis shows about 650 MW of oil- and gas-fired peaking capacity in New York City will retire rather than be upgraded to comply with new emissions regulations. (S&P Global)
Environmentalists are ramping up monitoring methane emissions in the Permian Basin, with preliminary data showing that emissions are three times greater than EPA estimates. (Houston Chronicle, Carlsbad Current-Argus)

BIOMASS: The EPA is considering labeling wood fuels as carbon neutral, but the economics of producing electricity from burning biomass make it unlikely to catch on in this country. (Bloomberg)

SOLAR: Solar energy is taking off in Minnesota, including in metro suburbs, with 1,000 projects installed last year bringing the state’s total to roughly 7,500. (Star Tribune)

STORAGE: California’s grid planning document indicates the state expects to need 1 GW of new long-duration energy storage by 2026 as part of its clean energy transition. (Greentech Media)

WIND:
• This was supposed to be a peak year for U.S. wind farm construction, but instead of a victory lap the industry is grappling with supply chain disruptions and thinning workforces from the coronavirus pandemic. (Greentech Media)
• Vestas pulls back its 2020 projections, saying there is “no clear prognosis on when key wind markets such as the U.S., Brazil and India will recover.” (Greentech Media)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Tesla will furlough all non-essential workers and cut salaries as it shuts down electric vehicle and solar roof tile production due to the pandemic. (Reuters)
• Electric truck startup Rivian delays the launch of two models as the coronavirus slows production at the company’s Illinois plant. (Chicago Tribune)
• An Ohio-based electric vehicle startup receives a letter of intent from a Florida company seeking to order 1,000 electric trucks. (WKYC)

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NUCLEAR: Exelon confirms five coronavirus cases among the more than 1,000 workers conducting a refueling outage at the Limerick nuclear plant in Pennsylvania. (The Mercury)

EFFICIENCY: The U.S. energy efficiency sector is experiencing mass layoffs from the coronavirus as utility and state programs shut down across the country. (E&E News)

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