Renewable energies are the only source of energy to experience growth at the heart of the crisis caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. This is reflected in the latest report from the International Energy Agency presenting an analysis of global energy data for the first quarter of the year.
The pandemic has in fact led to a 6% drop in energy demand, which is seven times the levels recorded during the economic crisis of 2008. This drop in demand has led to an 8% decrease in emissions, which have reached their lowest level. since 2010.
The first affected by the drop in demand are fossil fuels. The share of coal and gas in the energy mix fell 3% in the first quarter, reaching its lowest level since 2001. “Coal was particularly affected, with demand forecast for an 8% drop in demand for year 2020, its greatest decline since the Second World War, ” reads the document. The fall in demand for nuclear energy will be 3% for the whole year, according to the IEA.
In the midst of all these declines, renewable energies are experiencing growth that will be around 5% for the year, the agency predicts. Their share in the global electricity mix is expected to increase to 40%, 6 percentage points higher than that of coal. “It was a surprise to us to see that like the youngest in our societies, renewable energy is immune to the effects of Covid-19,” said Laura Cozzi, the report’s lead author.
However, this growth will be less than the figures recorded in the past years. In addition, due to transport restrictions, the demand for biofuels will decrease substantially.
Even if it will affect the entire world economy, the final impact of this health crisis on the energy sector will not be known until its end. In the meantime, the IEA estimates that each month of additional containment reduces world energy demand by 1.5% over the year.
Source: Agence Ecofin