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EGEB: Chinese solar manufacturers slash prices due to coronavirus slump

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • Chinese solar companies have had to cut component prices, but there may be a big benefit.
  • 206 companies from HSBC to BP are calling for the UK government to enact a green recovery.
  • Want to try a virtual electric vehicle ride and drive? It’s free.

The Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB): A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

Chinese solar slump

Chinese manufacturers make up around 73% of the global solar power supply chain. And those manufacturers have had to cut costs due to the pressures of the coronavirus pandemic crisis. Further, smaller companies may have to consolidate to survive.

Of course this is bad news for solar manufacturers, but the silver lining is that it may create a higher demand for solar once the economy starts to recover, due to cheaper prices.

Both Chinese manufacturing and technological advances have already contributed to solar beating fossil fuels on price.

CMB International Securities analyst Robin Xiao said of the Chinese solar industry:

The coronavirus added uncertainties to demand, especially overseas. Prices are still under certain pressure. But if the world is gradually recovering from the epidemic from the fourth quarter, cheaper prices may significantly raise competitiveness of photovoltaics.

Green recovery in the UK

More than 200 multinational and national companies and investors in the UK have signed a letter that calls on the British government to deliver a sustainable coronavirus recovery program. Interestingly, signatories include BP and Heathrow Airport. Other companies that signed include Lloyds Bank, Sky, BT, and E.ON. The initiative was coordinated by The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG).

You can read the letter in full here, but here’s an excerpt:

With the UK facing major economic and social concerns including the risk of high unemployment and rising regional inequality, we believe that an ambitious low carbon growth and environmental improvement agenda can do a lot to address these concerns, as well as make the UK economy better prepared to deal with future shocks such as those related to climate change.

The current crisis, in moving us all away from business-as-usual, has already created shifts in how we operate, and we believe we must use the recovery to accelerate the transition to net zero. Efforts to rescue and repair the economy in response to the current crisis can and should be aligned with the UK’s legislated target of net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest.

The British government is expected to prioritize a green energy package, and the letter urges it to publish a detailed plan — a “clear vision.”

In early May, more than 90 multinationals made a similar call in France. And later in May, as Electrek reported, a group of more than 150 companies worth a combined $2.4 trillion called for global governments’ recovery plans from the COVID-19 pandemic to prioritize green economies. Two-thirds of the companies that signed the statement are headquartered in Europe.

Virtual EV drive

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Electrify the South, and the League of Women Voters are offering the opportunity to take a virtual electric vehicle ride-and-drive while safely socially distancing.

The virtual ride will be in a Tesla Model 3, and you can see what it’s like at a Driving on Sunshine ride-and-drive event. They’ll highlight the features of the car, talk about the benefits of driving electric, and hold a live Q&A session. So, it doesn’t matter where you’re located — you can join in, too.

The event will take place on June 27 at noon ET. Sign-up can be found here.

Photo: Peter Cavanagh/Alamy Stock Photo

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.