Thousands of lives are in jeopardy amid the coronavirus outbreak. The only sector going to benefit is the environment since most people are in lockdown. Nations are implementing health regulations to ensure the safety of their people. Various measures like the travel ban and social distancing are in place to minimize the spread of the virus. Following the implementation of these regulations, reports indicate a reduction in emissions.
The result of the lockdown is the closure of numerous businesses. With this action, there is an estimation that carbon emissions will reduce by close to 10%. The International Energy Agency notes that the demand for clean energy will skyrocket with the new health regulations. People are resorting to renewables like solar and wind energy due to its availability.
The closure of the last coal-fired plants in Austria and Sweden ushers in a new energy system called renewables. These countries are rejuvenating their efforts in venturing clean energy. Wood Mackenzie, an energy consultant, says that the current situation threatens investment in natural gas and oil. He adds that renewable energy has a chance to outdo gas and oil in these trying economic times. The increase in demand for renewable power raises the market share of renewables by 1%.
Simon Eaves, a managing director at Capital Dynamics, states that coronavirus does not impede the generation of solar and wind energy. Simon notes that his agency is buying a solar farm to supply power to Spain residents. This move is a sign that the future of clean, safe energy is achievable. Also, Abu Dhabi has announced a low-cost solar installation to generate more electricity for the UAE.
Birol, the director-general for Francesco La Camera, says this pandemic is an eye-opener for the system’s hidden vulnerabilities. He advises governments to focus on the renewables industry to recuperate from the looming economic downwarp. He further adds that this will reduce emissions in the atmosphere. IEA agrees with Birol adding that jobs are going to spring up from the renewable sector. They speculate a reduction of 70% in greenhouse emissions by 2050.
It is sensible to note that all sectors, including the renewable industry, feel the pandemic impact. The renewable sector has unfinished projects which have now paused. Additionally, government incentives are risky for them to take. Birol advises governments to implement policies to quicken the shift from conventional fuels to renewable energy. He says this is an opportune time to settle the clean energy score.
Numerous renewable energy incentives are expiring in December 2020. The renewable industry has to integrate solar and wind projects before December. This move will enable the attract more incentives. Countries with renewable industries under this dilemma include the US and China.
The power to recuperate the economy now lies with the governments. They can implement laws to advance the renewables if only they take that decision. They can push the grace period for the completion of these projects or adjust the budget to cater for the renewables.
The US is one of the countries whose failure to protect the renewables industry is compromising over 600000 jobs. With the pandemic’s incessant spread, the Solar Energy Industries Association estimates the loss of half of its labor. Furthermore, the stringent health regulation of social distancing is increasing the impermeability of households for installations.
Also, there is a disruption of the supply chain for energy storage projects. The renewable industry is equally affected by COVID-19 pandemic. Congress has doubled the impact by evading the incorporation of relief funds into the sector. The industry is also adjusting to the unchanged tax rates on its operations. This move favors the fossil – fuel sector, which also has a $20 billion allocation in the relief program.
Finally, the COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity for skyrocketing of the renewable sector because there’s a low demand for energy globally. However, there is a threat of high expenses to retain the employees or retrench them.