Will the Spread of Coronavirus Cause a Slowdown in the Solar Energy Revolution?

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The growth of solar energy is at risk with the spread of coronavirus, but Green Home Systems isn't worried about its effect on domestic solar panel manufacturing.

Despite some companies struggling to manufacture solar products due to a lack of workers, the factories are slowly making a comeback, and a couple of months of lower production shouldn’t set the revolution back too far.

A large portion of the solar power industry relies on China for manufacturing, parts, and assembly of solar products. If the tariffs weren’t enough of an obstacle for imports, a new monster is now affecting the industry: Coronavirus.

The novel coronavirus from Wuhan, or COVID-19, has been quickly growing in China for most of 2020 so far, and is beginning to take hold around the world as well. Mainland China, especially the Hubei Province, however, has at least 80% of the total cases. With this virus plaguing the country, there are a few big issues that could significantly affect the solar energy revolution.

First of all, workers all over the country have been out of work for a while as a way to prevent the spread of the virus, slowing production in solar factories. And while many are slowly started to bring workers back, the effects of the slowdown are lingering.

A few companies in the industry have spoken about this issue. China’s New Energy Chamber of Commerce said this month that production had been disrupted and will affect shipments of equipment to overseas markets. Panel maker Trina had lower supplies than usual in mid-February, boosting short-term logistics costs, according to Trina’s deputy general manager, Yin Rongfang. Overall, factory utilization took a hit, but is starting to rebound.

China is a leader in new wind and solar farm installations, and in the production of photovoltaic panels used all over the world. 9 of the top 10 cell manufacturers are based mainly in China, and they definitely hold a lot of weight in the solar industry. So this coronavirus outbreak has the chance to drastically hinder the production and implementation of solar.

Despite this interruption in the growth of solar, there are alternative options that could help to alleviate possible damage. One is taking advantage of American-made solar products.

LG Solar, a major manufacturer of solar panels, has recently shifted to assembling its products in the United States. Not many of the main solar companies have done this, but LG building a factory in Huntsville, Alabama has changed the place of the solar industry in our country.

Green Home Systems, a company that provides solar energy, as well as other home efficiency upgrades, to its customers, is partnered with LG Solar. George Castillo, a member of the marketing team at Green Home Systems, can’t stress enough how beneficial it is to offer American-made solar panels to customers.

“Our company takes a lot of pride in our partnership with LG Solar because of how many advantages their domestic production provides,” George says. “Not only does it boost the American economy by creating solar jobs in the country,” she continues, “but it facilitates certainty and trust in our relationships with customers. And from a marketing standpoint, it doesn’t hurt that Americans respond really well to ‘American-made.’”

In respect to coronavirus, Green Home Systems remains unaffected. In fact, they are consistently growing as a company, and remain able to continue providing their products to customers all over the country.

George comments again, “We’re worried about this virus in terms of the health and wellbeing of people all over the world, and it’s definitely scary. However, we know that the United States is a strong country with the ability to keep this issue under control and protecting its citizens. We don’t see it getting too powerful to handle, and we don’t see it affecting our business.”

This confidence gives hope that coronavirus won’t significantly affect the growth of renewable energy. Despite some companies struggling to manufacture solar products due to a lack of workers, the factories are slowly making a comeback, and a couple of months of lower production shouldn’t set the revolution back too far.

Additionally, with companies like Green Home Systems using American-made panels, providing solar to customers will not be hindered by lower factory production, as domestic factories remain unaffected for now.

The concern for the state of the solar revolution is not justified just yet. All that’s important for now is to have empathy for the millions of people living in fear and the loved ones of those who have been affected.

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Emily Jackowitz
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