9 April

Demand for electricity in the US plunged to a 16-year low last week, as offices remained closed and industrial activity decelerated severely due to coronavirus. According to trade group Edison Electric Institute (EEI), power output plunged to 64,896GWh during the week ended 4 April. This represents a decline of 5.7% from the same week last year. It was the lowest in a week since April 2004.

Nearly 39% of new electricity generation projects in the US set to come online over the next six months could be stalled owing to the coronavirus pandemic, according to Bloomberg. Energy Information Administration economist Tyler Hodge said that from April through September nearly 4.9GW of new utility-scale capacity will be either annulled or postponed indefinitely. It is expected that wind, solar and natural gas projects will be impacted almost equally.

Electricity demand in Texas this summer could remain similar to the summer of 2019 in spite of the current outbreak of coronavirus disease. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) said total resource capacity for the upcoming summer season is estimated to be 82,417MW. ERCOT noted that it is taking steps to ensure the reliability of the grid during possible tough circumstances.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has stepped up support for nuclear plant operators during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic by facilitating knowledge exchange. The knowledge exchange is being facilitated via the International Reporting System for Operating Experience (IRS) and the newly established Covid-19 Operational Experience Network. All 442 of the world’s nuclear power reactors are operational despite the pandemic, generating more than 10% of the world’s electricity, IAEA said.

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