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Solar Company Backs Federal Aid for Oil Drillers Facing Collapse

By Brian Eckhouse and Naureen S. Malik

(Bloomberg) One of America’s biggest rooftop-solar companies supports a potential relief package for an unlikely group: oil producers clobbered this week by collapsing prices.

The head of Houston-based Sunnova Energy International Inc. said he would back the oil industry’s bid for federal aid amid the worst price rout in a generation, as long as it’s part of a package that restores the U.S. solar industry’s federal tax credit to last year’s level.

“These are unusual times and unusual times call for fairly dramatic and fairly effective enforceable measures,” John Berger, Sunnova’s chief executive officer, said in a phone interview Wednesday.

The rapid spread of the coronavirus has rattled economies around the world, slowing growth and weakening energy demand. That escalated after Saudi Arabia and Russia entered into an all-out oil price war, causing crude prices to plunge as much as 34% on Monday and stock markets to plummet around the world.

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