The world is going through one of the worst crises ever, however, the deep perturbations and uncertainties caused by the pandemic may become an opportunity to rethink the future of energy, but it is necessary to plan strategies and precise policies to develop a resilient energy system able to achieve climate goals. Published by IEA the World Energy Outlook 2020.
The Covid-19 has caused more unrest than any other event in recent history, even in the global energy system, leaving scars that will last in the coming years. Depending on how governments respond to today’s challenges, this emergency may help or hinder efforts to accelerate the transition to clean energy and meet international energy and climate targets.
The IEA – International Energy Agency – has published the World Energy Outlook 2020 which, starting from the pandemic, analyses what could happen in the energy system in the next 10 years, foreseeing 4 different scenarios.
The first estimates tell us that due to the Coronavirus global energy demand is expected to decrease by 5% in 2020, energy-related CO2 emissions by 7% and energy investments by 18%.
In the Stated Policies Scenario, which reflects the policy intentions and objectives announced to date, global energy demand will return to its pre-crisis level in early 2023. According to the Delayed Recovery Scenario, should the pandemic continue to create a major collapse, it will not return to “normal” until 2025, with a risk of increased market volatility.
Renewable energies are the protagonists in all scenarios, with solar playing a central role, thanks to incentives, technological innovations and lower costs. Photovoltaics is now cheaper than new coal- or gas-fired power plants in most countries, and solar projects offer electricity at a particularly low cost.
In the Stated Policies Scenario, renewables will meet 80% of global electricity demand growth over the next decade. Hydropower will remain the main green source, but photovoltaics, followed by onshore and offshore wind, will have the most significant growth. The Sustainable Development Scenario predicts even more significant and extremely encouraging growth in renewables to meet the global climate challenge.
The WEO-2020 shows that the growth of renewables must be accompanied by significant investment in electricity grids, otherwise there will be problems for the reliability and security of electricity supply.