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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

Scoop: FDA chief called to West Wing

Stephen Hahn. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has summoned FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn to the West Wing for a 9:30am meeting Tuesday to explain why he hasn't moved faster to approve the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, two senior administration officials told Axios.

Why it matters: The meeting is shaping up to be tense, with Hahn using what the White House will likely view as kamikaze language in a preemptive statement to Axios: "Let me be clear — our career scientists have to make the decision and they will take the time that’s needed to make the right call on this important decision."

Scoop: Schumer's regrets

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images   

Chuck Schumer told party donors during recent calls that the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the fact that Cal Cunningham "couldn't keep his zipper up" crushed Democrats' chances of regaining the Senate, sources with direct knowledge of the conversations tell Axios.

Why it matters: Democrats are hoping for a 50-50 split by winning two upcoming special elections in Georgia. But their best chance for an outright Senate majority ended when Cunningham lost in North Carolina and Sen. Susan Collins won in Maine.

Trump's coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas resigns

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty

Scott Atlas, a controversial member of the White House coronavirus task force, handed in his resignation on Monday, according to three administration officials who discussed Atlas' resignation with Axios.

Why it matters: President Trump brought in Atlas as a counterpoint to NIAID director Anthony Fauci, whose warnings about the pandemic were dismissed by the Trump administration. With Trump now fixated on election fraud conspiracy theories, Atlas' detail comes to a natural end.