Green energy capacity to grow despite Covid-19: IEA

Rodiano Bonacci
Mag 22, 2020

Slower growth this year reflects delays in construction activity due to supply chain disruptions, lockdown measures and social distancing as well as financing challenges.

It means the influential agency is now forecasting growth for both 2020 and 2021 at 10 per cent lower than its projections prior to the pandemic outbreak, stunting the rollout of clean energy just as the world needs to ramp up its decarbonisation efforts in pursuit of the Paris Agreement goals.

Part of the decline this year will be made up in 2021 as projects that were delayed catch up.

Given 2019's exceptional renewable energy growth, Europe looks set to have one of the steepest drops in capacity additions, losing a third.

The experts had at different fora lamented the huge cost associated with renewable energy components which are about 100 per cent imported into the country, thus increasing the cost of access to power through renewable.

Disruptions caused by the COVID-19 crisis will result in a 13 percent decline in new renewable power capacity coming online this year - some 167 gigawatts, the report said, although even the lower number represents a 6 percent growth in global capacity.

It, however, added that a rebound was expected in 2021 with capacity additions exceeding 2019 levels. This is because of a significantly slower recovery of distributed solar PV as households and small businesses review investment plans. Onshore wind installations are also affected by commissioning delays, although they are mostly compensated for in 2021 as the majority of projects in the pipeline are already financed and under construction.

In particular, residential solar is set to take longer than other renewables like offshore wind to rebound following the COVID-19 lockdown.

"Putting emissions into a structural decline needed renewables to grow much faster across all sectors even before the COVID-19 crisis", the report said.

Despite the demand for renewable energy, Birol urged governments to keep sight of the "essential task of stepping up clean energy transitions to enable us to emerge from the crisis on a secure and sustainable path".

"But continuing cost declines will not be enough to protect renewables from a range of uncertainties that are being exacerbated by Covid-19".

While sectors supplying electricity - solar, wind and hydropower - would be largely resilient in the crisis, it said, the market for biofuels used mainly in transport would be "radically" altered as global travel is frozen and oil prices plummet.

Birol said the resilience of the renewables industry can not be taken for granted, and warned governments against reining in clean energy spending to weather the looming economic crisis wrought by the coronavirus.

Altre relazioniGrafFiotech

Discuti questo articolo

Segui i nostri GIORNALE