Families who have solar panels installed on their homes are feeling more secure during the coronavirus pandemic. During a global pandemic, homes running on solar and batteries have an increased sense of security. Solar users are energy independent and can often create enough energy to power a home without needing the services of the grid. In the case of mass power outages, solar will allow these homes to live with relatively minor changes to their home lives. If renewables were implemented more broadly, the world would have less impacts from major global pandemics like the Coronavirus.
Currently, the electric grid is safe from the effects of Coronavirus, but that could change in the coming months if more waves come. Essential workers in the U.S power industry may be required to sleep on site as the virus spreads throughout the country. Many of these works have highly specialized skills that can’t be easily trained or transferred. According to Wired, plant operators have had to do this in the past during the large blackout in New York City in 2003 and again during Hurricane Sandy.
2019 saw record growth in the solar industry adding 13 gigawatts of capacity. New installations of solar, however, are likely to be hit in the wake of economic instability from the pandemic. The wind industry is also seeing negative impacts, with China’s turbine production coming to a screeching halt this year.
One thing the Coronavirus could teach us going forward is that green energy and the environmental movement can help the world be more resilient and self-sufficient from the way we get our electricity to the food we eat. The more green technology that gets out there, the more we are better prepared for the next outbreak or natural disaster. Learning from what is happening now can help inform decisions in the aftermath of Covid-19.