Covid-19 puts solar-power industry into lockdown, but it’s all ...

World

Covid-19 puts solar-power industry into lockdown, but it’s all for the good

Solar installers are now using drones and phones to offset losses from lockdowns, reducing costs and carbon footprints

Nichola Groom, Isla Binnie and Nina Chestney

The booming rooftop solarpanel industry nosedived overnight when the coronavirus forced homeowners to rein in spending and keep their distance from would-be installers.

Now, in their struggle to survive, companies on both sides of the Atlantic are turning to online marketing rather than knocking on doors, using drones to inspect roofs, arranging digital permits and coming up with attractive new financing plans, according to interviews with 12 executives.

At stake is the future of a key driver of the global transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy: solar power was the second-fastest-growing renewable source after wind in 2019, according to the Paris-based International Energy Agency...

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