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October 23, 2020

Coronavirus company news summary – Investment in Britain’s utilities sector drops drastically in Q2 – French wind sector survives Covid-19 scare – Power demand renews in UK as lockdown restrictions are lifted

By Matthew Hall

Tax relief consultant Catax reported that business investments in utility companies in the UK slumped by 60% year-on-year, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic crisis. The most affected companies due to lockdown restrictions belonged to electricity, water and gas sectors. The total investment in the utilities dropped by $2.2bn (£1.7bn) in Q2 this year, a $5.1bn (£3.9bn) fall from the corresponding period in 2019.

The wind sector in France experienced a huge setback during H1 2020, with a 45% decline in installations due to coronavirus induced lockdown. The sector, however, met 9.5% of the country’s power demand during the lockdown period. Experts noted that the pandemic has had limited impact on the sector in the short term, although the overall impact is yet to be ascertained.

The relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions in the UK resulted in the return of demand and prices to pre-lockdown levels. The electricity demand in the September quarter increased to 60.6TWh from 53.2TWh in Q2, which was the lowest quarterly demand registered in more than a decade. The day-ahead electricity prices in Q3 averaged at $46.1/MWh, nearer to pre-Covid-19 levels, a significant rise from $35.2/MWh and $30.2/MWh recorded in first and second quarters of the year, respectively.

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