Mar 23, 2020 - Energy & Environment

How Congress' coronavirus stimulus would affect the energy industry

crude oil reserve
Photo: Joe Raedle/Newsmakers

Senate Republicans' version of the "phase 3" coronavirus stimulus, which stalled in a procedural vote last night, would provide $3 billion for the White House plan to buy 77 million barrels of oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

What we're watching: Whether Capitol Hill negotiations on this or subsequent bills will address the renewable power sectors' push — backed by some Democrats — to modify and extend availability of tax incentives.

Why it matters: Solar and wind industry groups are starting to provide early projections of the economic fallout as the frozen economy hits development and coronavirus forces workers home.

Solar: The Solar Energy Industries Association, in a memo that accompanied this letter to Congress, cites analysts' estimates of "losses between 16% and 30% of volume this year and some sectors could see as much as 50% reduction."

  • That could mean jobs losses in the 38,000–120,000 range, a huge chunk of the sectors' roughly 250,000 workforce.

Wind: The American Wind Energy Association says roughly 25 gigawatts worth of planned project are at risk, representing $35 billion worth of investment.

  • 35,000 jobs are at risk, the group said.

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