What’s Going On Here?
This week the International Energy Agency (IEA) released its Renewables 2020 report, a detailed analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on renewables in the electricity, transport and heat sectors.
What Does This Mean?
Whilst almost all other fuels have been badly impacted, the renewable energy sector has adapted to the rapid changes of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and proven surprisingly resilient to the shocks.
Wind and solar capacity have continued to expand, which alongside hydro and bioenergy, means renewables will overtake coal as the single greatest electricity source globally by 2025. This further reinforces the business case for renewable energy, just a month after the IEA hailed solar as the ‘cheapest electricity in history’.
The resilience to COVID-19 displayed by renewables is largely down to the strong performance of renewables in the electricity sector, with renewable electricity generation set to rise by up to 7% in 2020. Whilst this is good news, this is by no means a silver bullet – electricity accounts for just one-fifth of all energy use, with the burning of fuels for transport, industry and heating making up the majority of energy emissions.
Why Should We Care?
A UN Environment report released this time last year found that countries are set to produce double the amount of coal, oil and gas than is compatible with a 1.5C warming trajectory, as set out in the Paris Agreement.
In order to accelerate the phase out of fossil fuels, renewable energy must continue to perform strongly and be an attractive opportunity for investors.
As more of the world’s major players pledge to become net-zero by 2050, most recently China, Australia and Japan, renewable power capacity must continue to grow in order to meet global energy demand that is currently supplied by fossil fuels.
- Read the full Renewables 2020 report
- We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – consider switching your energy supplier to a renewable energy provider. For our UK readers, the Big Clean Switch can help with this.