Renewable energy producers warn of layoffs

Source: By Rachel Frazin, The Hill • Posted: Sunday, April 12, 2020

The renewable energy industry and environmental groups on Friday wrote a letter to Congress highlighting difficulties faced by renewable energy producers.

“We wanted to highlight specific damage to the clean energy economy, which we know best, and what that will mean for the roughly 3.4 million Americans who work in a sector whose jobs are in serious peril due to the economic downturn caused by COVID-19,” said the letter, which was signed by major wind and solar energy groups, as well as environmental groups and others.

It particularly highlighted layoffs, reduced demand and delays in permitting and inspections as industry-wide issues.

Their letter comes amid a national focus on challenges faced by fossil fuel producers, notably the oil industry, which has been hit by a Russia-Saudi production standoff as well as a demand decrease.

The economy has also suffered due to closures relating to the virus. About 6.6 million Americans filed new applications for unemployment benefits during the first week of April.

The letter, which was shared with The Hill, also listed “technology specific” issues that the industries are facing.

It listed delays seen by the energy storage business and projected drops in electric vehicle sales. It also said that the solar industry could lose between 38,000 and 120,000 jobs and the wind industry could lose more than 35,000 jobs.