How Climate Change and COVID-19 Are Combining to Rock Renewable Energy Supply Chains

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During the pandemic, renewable energy supply chains have tightened due to equipment stockpiling, obsolete equipment and growing order backlogs.

As baseball-sized hail fell from the sky, West Texas residents took cover. The rock-hard ice dented cars, smashed windows, and damaged property. The unmerciful May 2019 storm hit renewable energy too, damaging 13,000 solar panels and causing $70-$80 million in insured losses.

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Approximately 16 weeks later, the solar panels were fixed or replaced and the site was up-and-running again.
If the same storm hit today, there’s no telling how long the damage might linger. Renewable energy supply chains have become increasingly tight due to a combination of equipment stockpiling, obsolete equipment and manufacturers inundated with new order requests.
Then came a global pandemic.
The supply chain situation has solar and wind companies holding their collective breath, hoping Mother Nature offers a gentle hurricane season and somehow limits lightning, wind, tornados, and hail.
“Another natural catastrophe or big hailstorm is absolutely the fear right now,” said Fraser McLachlan, CEO of GCube Insurance Services, a specialist provider for utility-scale renewable energy projects.
“Every three years or so, we’ve seen pretty significant claims due to high winds, wind-driven water, or flooding in the lower …

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