Economic Impact of COVID-19 on Renewable Gas Projects
What we are seeing regarding the Impact of COVID-19 on Landfill and BioGas Projects Living a more sustainable existence is what we should all strive for; reducing our consumption, especially of disposable items and luxury goods that we don't really need but just buy to keep up with the latest trends. Not to mention all the packaging associated with these purchases. Reducing, reusing and recycling of waste materials is good for the environment and the planet at large. The economic downswing associated with COVID-19 has made this a reality overnight. Yet, while this may be good for the environment, it has severe economic ramifications, affecting business as usual all along the supply chain from the cradle to the grave so to speak. The landfill sector, including the industry that supplies equipment for the infrastructure needed to capture landfill leachate and/or landfill gas generated on Municipal Solid Waste landfill sites, has also been impacted by COVID-19. Essentially, we are seeing volumes down in the landfill sector; people are just buying less. That means no new cell construction projects on landfill sites. Less volumes in landfills means a slowing of that sector. However, we are seeing snail paced Biogas projects. That said, we typically spend months, if not years working with design engineers on future projects. These past few months the design engineers have been silent. What that means is our pipeline for sales is 6-18 months out, as it generally takes that time to get projects designed, budgeted, and permitted before we see any orders. Without filling the funnel â€” with the exception of a natural disaster that will increase landfill volumes for regional landfills in disaster zones, moving up cell construction â€” we expect projects being pushed out until 2022. Biogas projects are going to be contingent on the capital needed to make them happen, but I'm not sure where that will come from since all Governments are suffering from severe budget shortfalls. Industry will continue their projects if they are an essential business such as; animal feed operations. While we do not expect these projects to be written off, they will probably be delayed until the infrastructure at wastewater plants meet their existing operating efficiencies. We expect to see more of these projects in the South, where climatic conditions are more favorable for the natural biodegradation of waste materials. The other impact we have to contend with is the relaxing of environmental laws by the current administration, making monitoring and/or control of environmental emissions less stringent. This in turn reduces the need to install environmental monitoring equipment at some industrial sites or for them to implement measures to reduce their environmental impact.
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