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September 4, 2020updated 14 Feb 2022 12:29pm

The question of energy beyond Covid-19: business as usual or a brave new world?

By GlobalData Energy

The world is still reeling from Covid-19, but as lockdowns ease and countries look to a future beyond the pandemic, the question of what constitutes the future of the energy industry remains. The answer is crucial to environmental sustainability.

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Navigate your business through the ‘new normal’

COVID-19 continues to dominate headlines the world over. It has already affected our lives forever. The way we work, shop, eat, seek medical advice, and socialize will all be different in the future. Quite how different remains to be seen, but all industries must plan for multiple eventualities.  Faced with an explosion of conflicting information on how to plan and implement successful recovery strategies, decision-makers are in dire need of a single, reliable source of intelligence.   GlobalData’s COVID-19 Executive Briefing gives you access to unparalleled data and insights to successfully navigate the uncertain road to recovery across the world’s largest industries. Understand every aspect of this disruptive theme by delving into: 
  •  COVID-19 infection update, with statistics on the spread, testing by country, as well as the latest data on vaccines and therapeutic developments 
  • Economic impact overview, covering stock market indices, GDP, unemployment rates, policy responses & GlobalData’s economic recovery scorecards 
  • Sector developments, with access to sector insight summaries, cross-sector indices and the leaders and laggards in each industry vertical 
Whatever your company’s imminent strategic plans, the long-lasting impact of COVID-19 must not be overlooked. Find out how to futureproof your business operations – download our report today. 
by GlobalData
Enter your details here to receive your free Report.

A clean recovery for some

While Covid-19 brought much of the world to a halt, the share of renewable energy (RE) in the power mix increased. The use of renewables in India increased by 73% from March to July, while the Energy Information Administration (EIA) asserts that renewables are the fastest growing form of energy in the US. Similarly, according to Fitch Ratings, renewable generation increased by 8.4% in the EU and UK across the second quarter of 2020.

Renewable energy has grown steadily since 2000, initially supported by generous government incentives. The efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the technology have improved significantly to the point where subsidies are no longer needed to make renewables economically viable. Renewables are boosted further by rising demand –  companies are increasing including sustainability in their objectives.

The pandemic disrupted the renewables supply chain. However, existing RE sources were more resilient compared to fossil fuels. Remote working during lockdowns caused demand to plummet, calling into question fossil fuels’ long-term viability.

Renewables as the fuel of the future?

Renewables appear set to grow. Fitch Ratings points out future financing opportunities for renewables within national ‘green recovery’ deals. For example, climate protection initiatives will receive 30% of the EU recovery deal, including €1.1tr in the EU budget for 2021-2027.

Further policy changes could also drive adoption. US presidential candidate Joe Biden pledged $1.7tr to an ambitious climate change mitigation plan that will aim to give the US 100% clean energy by 2050.

However, while emerging policy and current trends in the energy sector appear promising, the potential for a ‘Brave New World’, hallmarked by clean recoveries, could be hampered by renewables’ intermittency. As lockdowns ease, energy demand will increase. If renewables are to maintain their share of the generation mix post-lockdown, energy storage systems will have to become mainstream to combat renewables’ variability.

A dirty recovery for others

A further barrier to the ‘green recovery’ will be the dependence on fossil fuels. South Korea has come under fire for its reluctance to withdraw government funding for overseas coal plants despite its ‘Green New Deal’. Additionally, Turkey’s Government, hailing its natural gas discovery as the solution to its energy security and wider economic problems, is evidence of a ‘business as usual’ approach that will see countries pursue a dirty recovery.

The reluctance to leave fossil fuels behind will impede the energy transition. However, despite some countries dragging their feet, the growth of renewables will likely prove inexorable, purely based on economics, increased demand and investors divesting from fossil fuels. Countries that fail to ride the green wave may soon find themselves left behind with stranded assets by countries with energy policies that focus on environmental sustainability.

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Free Report
img

Navigate your business through the ‘new normal’

COVID-19 continues to dominate headlines the world over. It has already affected our lives forever. The way we work, shop, eat, seek medical advice, and socialize will all be different in the future. Quite how different remains to be seen, but all industries must plan for multiple eventualities.  Faced with an explosion of conflicting information on how to plan and implement successful recovery strategies, decision-makers are in dire need of a single, reliable source of intelligence.   GlobalData’s COVID-19 Executive Briefing gives you access to unparalleled data and insights to successfully navigate the uncertain road to recovery across the world’s largest industries. Understand every aspect of this disruptive theme by delving into: 
  •  COVID-19 infection update, with statistics on the spread, testing by country, as well as the latest data on vaccines and therapeutic developments 
  • Economic impact overview, covering stock market indices, GDP, unemployment rates, policy responses & GlobalData’s economic recovery scorecards 
  • Sector developments, with access to sector insight summaries, cross-sector indices and the leaders and laggards in each industry vertical 
Whatever your company’s imminent strategic plans, the long-lasting impact of COVID-19 must not be overlooked. Find out how to futureproof your business operations – download our report today. 
by GlobalData
Enter your details here to receive your free Report.

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