Energy scenario post COVID-19


By Rubina Obaid

In order to keep the acceleration towards sustainable shift for decarbonized economies, stimulus and recovery packages are introduced incoherent design for social inclusion and acceptance in the midst of this pandemic outbreak.

Renewable energy was taking major strides and was projected to enjoy consistent growth when the deadly virus hit. It created a global emergency that led towards severe financial crunch and eventually collapses of oil prices entwined the impact with a cascade effect of hurting the energy sector. While, energy leaders geared up to counter the energy concerns which are related to Climate Framework, innovative transport and market design which greatly got impacted. In few weeks the whole world got shut down and the novel coronavirus kept on devastating societies and livelihood. So the immediate response was aligned keeping medium and long term priorities in view and keeping sustained to the goals which were set out under United Nations 2030 Agenda and  Paris Agreement serve as an indicator to be aligned with the targets during the period of current uncertainties.

In order to keep the acceleration towards sustainable shift for decarbonized economies, stimulus and recovery packages are introduced incoherent design for social inclusion and acceptance. In the midst of this pandemic outbreak, it has been understood that investment and policy decisions cannot be made in vacuum and isolation. The economic impact fundamentally calls for state role for action through defining strategies and taking direct interventions and introducing expansionary budget policies for the induction of economical growth. Keeping energy transition as the prior most measure along with creating jobs and promoting social equity for the sake of the world to be on a climate-safe path. 

In recent year’s energy transition towards sustainable energy sources is widely in process in many countries and ongoing innovation, research, and technology have made the alternate sources extremely viable and cost-efficient. Solar photovoltaic and wind power became the cheapest sources of electricity in the market lately and in the power sector, renewable power has outnumbered the use of fossil fuels. However, the pandemic outbreak has adversely impacted many sectors including renewable so the role of government is crucial in keeping the momentum to keep the industry revived. Scaling up the investment in the renewable energy sector will provide a safe and visionary strategic investment, this may include flexible power grids, electric vehicles, charging systems, energy systems, energy storage, interconnected hydropower, green hydrogen, and numerous other innovative technologies.

The latest surge in oil prices and increased uncertainty of returns on hydrocarbon investments will in turn make the renewable sector even stronger. Increased research and development are essential to keep improving the technologies and making it cost-effective and will benefit the end-users for energy storage and green hydrogen to ensure swift movement towards climate neutrality. In order to respond to the immediate crisis, innovative approaches must have to be devised by the government for long term objectives with public investment and appropriate market incentives to extend considerable support for the private sector. The deadly outbreak is going to leave a devastating impact on societies, economies, and communities that require effective public policies to overcome the socioeconomic structure, however, we are yet to see contours of the post COVID-19 world.

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