Mar 14, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Coronavirus response should promote clean energy — IEA

Ben Geman, author of Generate

Photo: picture alliance / Contributor/Getty Images

The International Energy Agency is urging governments to weave policies that support climate-friendly energy into their economic responses to the novel coronavirus.

What they're saying: "These stimulus packages offer an excellent opportunity to ensure that the essential task of building a secure and sustainable energy future doesn’t get lost amid the flurry of immediate priorities," IEA executive director Fatih Birol said.

Why it matters: Birol's LinkedIn post Saturday morning warns that COVID-19 and the associated market tumult will "distract the attention of policy makers, business leaders and investors away from clean energy transitions."

The big picture: He says boosting deployment of technologies including wind, solar, and battery storage provides "twin benefits" of stimulating economies and moving to cleaner energy.

Threat level: His new post comes amid signs that COVID-19 is creating headwinds for these sectors as supply chains are disrupted, economies slow and policymakers are consumed with the response.

  • The research firm BloombergNEF this week said additions of new solar power generating capacity are slated for fall this year for the first time in decades, among other effects.

Go deeper: The impact of coronavirus spans the energy universe

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Updates: George Floyd protests continue past curfews

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued Tuesday across the U.S. for the eighth consecutive day — prompting a federal response from the National Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.

The latest: Protesters were still out en masse even as curfews set in Washington, D.C., and New York City, where Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) announced late Tuesday that she's headed for Manhattan Bridge following reports of police kettling in protesters. "This is dangerous," she tweeted.

Primary elections test impact of protests, coronavirus on voting

Election official at a polling place at McKinley Technology High School in Washington, D.C. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In the midst of a global pandemic and national protests over the death of George Floyd, eight states and the District of Columbia held primary elections on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, needs to win 425 of the 479 delegates up for grabs in order to officially clinch the nomination. There are a number of key down-ballot races throughout the country as well, including a primary in Iowa that could determine the fate of Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa).

Iowa Rep. Steve King defeated in GOP primary

Rep. Steve King. Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

State Sen. Randy Feenstra defeated incumbent Rep. Steve King in Tuesday's Republican primary for Iowa's 4th congressional district, according to the Cook Political Report.

Why it matters: King's history of racist remarks has made him one of the most controversial politicians in the country and a pariah within the Republican Party.