Coronavirus company news summary – ABB anticipates sharp drop in demand – UK goes without coal power for 19 days

29 April 2020 (Last Updated April 29th, 2020 09:22)

29 April

ABB has said that it anticipates a “sharp drop” in demand in the second quarter of this year as the Covid-19 pandemic has severely disrupted business activity globally. The Swiss technology company said the ongoing global health crisis had dented revenues and profit margins in all its business units in the first quarter. The company’s first revenues dipped 9% to $6.22bn, while profit plummeted by 30% to $376m.

French nuclear safety authority ASN has said that it will closely monitor workers’ safety when nuclear power plants operated by EDF recommence operations currently halted due to the Covid-19 lockdown. ASN chief Bernard Doroszczuk told a French Senate committee hearing: “The resumption of activities will be a period of extremely close vigilance on the part of the operator.”

According to National Grid data, Britain has gone without coal power for 19 consecutive days, the longest stretch since 1882, as electricity demand plummeted due to the Covid-19 lockdown. The country’s solar power facilities generated over 9.6GW of electricity for the first time on 20 April, surpassing the previous record of 9.55GW set on 13 May last year.

Poland has cautioned that the economic slowdown caused due to the Covid-19 outbreak may decelerate the pace of switching to clean energy due to restricted funds for investments in renewable energy sources. In a paper circulated to other EU countries, Poland said: “We can already see delays in the implementation of energy projects caused by the disruption of supply chains.” The paper also called for additional measures to ensure “European supply of critical components and materials to transform the European energy sector.”