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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The effects of the coronavirus on renewable energy, electric vehicles and oil are all coming into sharper focus in recent days.

Why it matters: A report from research firm BloombergNEF provides a window onto the breadth of the virus' effects on a suite of energy technologies, not just use of oil.

  • The addition of new solar power generating capacity could fall this year for the first time since at least the late 1980s. The biggest upheaval comes in China.
  • For wind, researchers see "considerable downside risk" to their prior forecasts for new wind installations of 75 gigawatts of new capacity, but still expect a record year. The amount of the drop will depend on how fast Chinese suppliers resume full production and the duration of construction delays in the U.S.
  • Another problem for the wind industry is that canceled events and company travel bans are "threatening to weaken transaction volumes" this year.
  • For electric vehicles, they're not immune to the wider decline in car sales stemming from coronavirus, the report notes. In China, the largest market, they expect sales to be flat, but add that the numbers could fall if coronavirus recovery drags on.
  • In the U.S., the report provisionally sees flat EV sales this year, but adds, "this could be revised down." It cites other headwinds, including uncertainty over fuel economy rules, expiring tax credits for some automakers' vehicles and low oil prices.

The big picture: They say the "distracted policymaker effects" of coronavirus could affect renewables and battery storage policies as legislative bodies shut down or work on emergency response.

But, but, but: There are also hopeful signs in the analysis. For instance, researchers see "minimal" effect on the offshore wind sector outside of China.

  • And BloombergNEF expects EV sales to "weather the storm better than sales of internal combustion vehicles."
  • It sees a 50% rise in Europe as automakers try to meet carbon emissions standards, and expect the Chinese government to announce a major stimulus program for the auto sector.

Go deeper: Coronavirus poses threat to China’s electric vehicle goals (Financial Times)

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include information about estimated U.S. electric vehicle sales.

Go deeper

7 hours ago - Health

FDA advisory panel recommends Pfizer boosters for those 65 and older

A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the Key Biscayne Community Center on Aug. 24, 2021. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday overwhelmingly voted against recommending Pfizer vaccine booster shots for younger Americans, but unanimously recommended approving the third shots for individuals 65 and older, as well as those at high-risk of severe COVID-19.

Why it matters: While the votes are non-binding, and the FDA must still make a final decision, Friday's move pours cold water on the Biden administration's plan to begin administering boosters to most individuals who received the Pfizer vaccine later this month.

8 hours ago - World

France recalls ambassadors from U.S. and Australia over submarine deal

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L), French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (C), and French ambassador to the U.S. Philippe Etienne. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

France has taken the extraordinary step of recalling its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia after both countries blindsided their French allies with a new military pact and submarine contract, the French Foreign Ministry announced on Friday.

The backstory: While sealing an agreement with the U.S. and U.K. to acquire nuclear submarines, Australia ripped up an existing $90 billion submarine deal with France. That led senior French officials to accuse the U.S. of a "stab in the back."

Updated 8 hours ago - World

In reversal, Pentagon now says drone strike killed 10 Afghan civilians

Caskets for the dead are carried towards the gravesite as relatives and friends attend a mass funeral for members of a family that is said to have been killed in a U.S. drone airstrike, in Kabul on Aug. 30. Photo: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A U.S. drone strike launched on Aug. 29 killed 10 civilians in Afghanistan, including seven children, rather than the Islamic State extremists the Biden administration claimed it targeted, the Pentagon said Friday.

Why it matters: U.S. Central Command said at the time that officials "know" the drone strike "disrupted an imminent ISIS-K threat" to Kabul's airport, and that they were "confident we successfully hit the target."