For all their momentum, the clean-energy sectors — solar, wind, energy storage, and companies transforming the power grid — will not escape the COVID-19 downdraft. These industries face daunting questions about every aspect of their business, from supply chains to potential workforce shortages, to broader questions about the economy, demand for energy and the availability of finance.

Over the coming weeks, Greentech Media will devote much of its journalistic efforts to the impacts of COVID-19. We’ll highlight our coverage here alongside other news and information that may be useful to our readers. As always, keep in touch and let us know how things look on the ground:

  • Tesla Closes Its Factories in California and New York: As calls for people to stay home grew increasingly urgent, Tesla announced plans to close two plants making electric vehicles and products for the solar and energy storage markets. Will other U.S. solar manufacturers follow suit? Every Tier 1 solar module factory in the U.S. is located in counties with confirmed coronavirus cases, said Xiaojing Sun, a senior solar analyst at Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables.
  • Lightsource BP Finalizes a Big Texas Solar Deal (Despite Everything): Some deals, at least, are still getting done. Lightsource BP, the U.K.-based solar developer backed by oil giant BP, tied up a $250 million finance package for a 260-megawatt solar project in Texas. Social distancing rules mean construction workers are not allowed to group together for coffee breaks or other meetings. But Kevin Smith, CEO for the Americas, told GTM he expects the project will be allowed to continue rolling forward.

  • What COVID-19 and Climate Change Have in Common: American society has made dramatic changes in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Why hasn’t it responded with similar urgency to climate change — another human-propelled global catastrophe that could harm human health and well-being for generations to come? This week’s podcast episode of Political Climate takes a look.

  • Solar, Wind and Storage Industries Seek Relief in Coronavirus Stimulus Package: If U.S. wind and solar projects can’t finish construction this year, many could lose access to critical federal tax credits that are phasing down. The lobbying battle to prevent that from happening has begun.

  • Coronavirus Could Make It Harder to Keep Wind Farms Up and Running: If a wind farm breaks down during a global pandemic, who will be there to fix it? Travel bans, supply chain pressure and a natural inclination to defer maintenance during difficult economic times could all dent the output of existing wind farms, experts say.

  • Siemens Gamesa Closes a Second Factory After Positive Coronavirus Test: The world’sNo. 2 maker of wind turbines closed a blade factory after an employee tested positive for the coronavirus, the second factory it’s closed in Spain. The facility can turn out enough blades to build 600 to 800 megawatts of wind capacity a year, or around 10 percent of Siemens Gamesa’s global output.

  • Keeping the Lights On: U.S. Utility Sector Braces for Coronavirus Impact: Power utilities and generators face an array of risks in the weeks ahead, from energy “demand destruction” as economies slow to tightening debt conditions that could ripple through the commodity markets. Depressed electricity demand from commercial and industrial consumers is one source of concern. In contrast, residential power demand is “relatively more stable under economic distress,” according to a Wood Mackenzie report.

  • EU Green Deal Should Be Canceled Because of Coronavirus, Czech PM Says: Some politicians in Eastern Europe have called on the EU to abandon its Green Deal and focus on fighting the spread of the coronavirus. The debate has begun over whether COVID-19 is reason to accelerate or slow down the energy transition.

  • Can Rooftop Solar Thrive in an Economic Downturn?: Last month, Sunrun CEO Lynn Jurich told investors that residential solar could prove to be a “countercyclical product,” potentially creating an “urgency” in the sales process as consumers look to save money. Given the way things are going, Sunrun and its peers will soon be testing that theory.

  • For Wind and Solar Sectors, Biggest Coronavirus Risk May Be a Damaged Economy: Just a few weeks ago, the biggest COVID-19 concern for renewables appeared to be the supply of equipment. Would there be enough solar panels, wind turbines and batteries to meet demand and project deadlines, given the widespread factory shutdowns in China? But with a recession now all but inevitable, the focus is quickly shifting to demand.