Power tech trends: Solar leads Twitter mentions in Q2 2020

6 July 2020 (Last Updated July 6th, 2020 17:37)

Power tech trends: Solar leads Twitter mentions in Q2 2020

Solar leads as Power Technology lists the top five terms tweeted on power in Q2 2020, based on data from GlobalData’s Influencer Platform. The top tweeted terms are the trending industry discussions happening on Twitter by key individuals (influencers) as tracked by the platform.

1. Solar – 3,011 mentions

From coal plants being transformed into huge solar farms, solar power and seawater being used to produce tomatoes, to buildings, schools and houses getting solar upgrades, were popularly discussed topics in Q2 2020. According to an article shared by Mike Hudema, a climate campaigner, Canada was transforming what used to be a huge coal plant into a huge solar farm. One of the largest air polluters in North America has been demolished to build 200,000 solar panels. The state of Ontario went coal free in 2014, which means taking seven million cars off the road.

Bill McKibben, an environmentalist, author and educator, shared an article on how the oil industry is finally showing signs of weakening after a century. He added that this has been the result of the efforts of thousands of climate activists, and solar engineers, among others. However, he also stated that even though oil, gas, and coal demand have fallen during the current lockdown situation, it is interesting to note that how little the demand may have dropped.

In other news, Mark Z Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, shared an article on how no clouds or smoggy emissions during the lockdowns led to clear skies and Germany reported a record production of solar power in a single day. While solar power contributed 40% to the total renewables energy (78%) produced in Germany, coal and nuclear power trailed behind with 22%.

2. Renewable Energy – 1,627 mentions

The transition away from coal to renewable energy sources, countries leading in renewable energy, and pivoting to renewable energy in a post-Covid world, were popularly discussed topics during the second quarter. For instance, Bill McKibben, an environmentalist, author and educator, shared an article on solar, wind, and hydropower generated more electricity than coal plants in the entire month of April in the US, owing to lower gas prices, warmer weather, and increased renewable capacity.

Mike Hudema, the climate campaigner, further added that four countries including Iceland, Paraguay, Norway, and Costa Rica, ran completely on renewable energy. While Iceland generated most of its power from geothermal energy and hydropower, most of Paraguay’s came from hydro projects. Norway meanwhile produced most of its electricity from hydro power with wind power becoming increasingly important. On the other hand, Costa Rica produced most of its electricity from hydro, wind and geothermal energy.

In other news, Dr Thomas Hillig, an energy consultant, discussed how wind farms are playing a crucial role in the second phase of the renewable energy revolution with the best spots for offshore wind power being taken. For instance, Scotland’s first floating wind farms are going into service. The 260 m turbines are expected to power 20,000 homes.

3. Clean Energy – 1,393 mentions

The need for governments to steer the world towards a more resilient and sustainable energy future by making clean energy, and integrate sustainability issues into clean energy transitions, were popularly discussed during the quarter. According to an article shared by Silvio Marcacci, a clean energy and climate action advocate shared an article on how plunging renewable energy prices for wind, solar, and energy storage can provide 90% of the US electricity by 2035, and that to without having to incur extra costs. Fossil fuel advocates, therefore, just lost their biggest anti-renewables trope.

Mark Z Jacobson, meanwhile, shared an article on how the world’s largest concentrated solar plant progressed despite Covid-19. While the $4.4bn solar power project is expected to increase Dubai’s share of clean energy to 25% by 2030, it also allows a saving of 1.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, the article noted. The Noor Energy 1 facility is a hybrid 700MW concentrated solar power (CSP) and 250MW photovoltaic (PV) plant. It is being built for the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA).

In other news, Assaad Razzouk, a clean energy entrepreneur and investor, meanwhile, discussed how the transition to clean energy is happening at a much faster pace, as the coronavirus pandemic puts more pressure on the health impacts of pollution.

4. Coal – 1,344 mentions

Right from coal free runs to the immediate ban on all new coal, oil, and gas projects, were popularly discussed during the second quarter of the year. For instance, James Murray, an energy editor, shared an article on the UK having gone without coal power for the second consecutive month and there is no immediate end in sight to coal-free run. The record-breaking run has been a result of the coronavirus lockdown, which led to lower power demands than expected throughout Spring. However, the latest coal-free record builds on a new trend of the grid operating for long periods with little or no coal power in recent years.

Christiana Figueres, a world authority on global climate change, on how the Spanish government was due to present an ambitious draft law that cut the country’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2050. The draft law will also ban all new coal, oil and gas projects with immediate effect, thereby setting the direction of economic recovery from the global coronavirus pandemic. The government pledges to make Spain 100% renewable by middle of the century, end direct fossil fuel subsidies and make all new vehicles emission-free by 2040, according to the new climate law.

In other news, Mike Hudema, the climate campaigner, discussed how India is investing more on solar energy than coal for the first time ever. India relies heavily on fossil fuels, and the usage is increasing. However, the country is building on its renewable energy capacity, which has doubled in less than three years, the article noted.

5. Climate Action – 1,299 mentions

Strategies and funds set aside for direct climate action, and economic security being a precondition to achieve a robust climate action, was popularly discussed during the quarter. According to an article shared by Assaad Razzouk, a clean energy entrepreneur and investor, Denmark is going huge on climate action with its energy islands. Regarded as the world’s most ambitious renewables project, the €37bn offshore wind project is the country’s biggest infrastructure investment, the article noted.

Razzouk also shared an article on 25% of all the European Union’s €750 billion recovery fund being directed towards direct climate action, and green and digital transitions. The recovery proposal focuses on a massive renovation wave for buildings and infrastructure, rolling out of renewable energy projects, and cleaner transport and logistics, the article noted.

In other news, Jesse Jenkins, an assistant professor, tweeted on fighting Covid-19 first, in order to achieve economic recovery, which alone could lead to robust climate action.