Written by Zeina Adel
Edited by Malak Manie
The world is changing; the pandemic has shaken us all to our core. No one can predict when will this storm finally pass. Uncertainty can be the word of the year, we simply do not know how much disruption the pandemic has made to our lives, and for how many years we will be suffering its ramifications. Since we can only predict, in this article, we will be showing you different points of view from world-leading energy experts on how the pandemic has affected energy as a whole and renewable energy to be specific, and how they presume the next few years will be like.
Starting with a major concern for all environmentalists, which is the oil and gas demand. According to IEA, there was a huge drop in the global oil demand this year. This is largely due to the countries’ efforts in constricting the supply chain as a means towards containing the spread of the virus. Moreover, it is a result of a decline in production in fields around the world. However, it is still unclear if this drop will continue over the course of the next few years. This means that nowadays diversifying energy resources has become a matter of necessity rather than a luxury.
This year has shown a rise in renewables by 4% driven by the USA and China’s initiatives. Forecasts have shown that it may even rise to 10%. However, with this fast growth, policy actions need to be maintained to keep up with such momentum. The largest share of the increase in renewables is that of solar and wind energy. Additionally, solar has shown a fast development especially in establishing roof developments. A huge cost decline is expected in the wind market which will lead to an expansion in this sector especially in Asia and the US.
The most encouraging news, however, was how the harmful emissions have declined. They decreased by 8% which is the lowest to have ever been seen in 2010. This was due to the increase in downtimes and the temporary drop in energy usage. However, this is far from sufficient to maintain world climate goals, which means that more modifications must be made.
The IEA’s goal now is more focused on reaching net-zero emissions by the year 2050. Is it achievable? According to them, it is, but there would have to be a huge shift in the mobilization of resources as well as policy actions around the world, but will the world be able to realize all this, somehow, while still recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic?