Wind and Solar got the best of the pandemic

BloombergNEF does not expect power sector emissions to ever recover to their peak in 2018, and another few massive years will only further this trend. With technology, capital, and expertise on the side of renewable power, the only question about the future shape of that curve is how far down it goes, and how fast it gets there.

Global recessions, wars, and (yes) pandemics have a way of driving down energy demand. Last year, the International Energy Agency said the collapse in global primary energy demand brought on by Covid-19 was the biggest drop since the end of World War II, itself the biggest drop since the influenza pandemic after World War I.

Something was different about this collapse, though, something that is not only unprecedented but until recently impossible in global energy. As the IEA’s latest data shows, renewable energy grew last year, and it was the only energy source that did so as consumption of gas, oil, and coal all declined. Renewables were not just an energy growth sector; they were the only energy growth sector

Not only did renewable energy grow, it did so in record fashion. The IEA’s latest data confirms something my colleagues and I have been observing since the end of 2020: renewable energy installations not only increased during the pandemic, they exceeded even the most bullish of expectations, with wind installations increasing 90% and solar increasing 23%. The IEA only expects more this year – as it says, “Exceptionally high capacity additions become the ‘new normal’ in 2021 and 2022, with renewables accounting for 90% of new power capacity expansion globally.”​

Read about it here. Read about it in articles like this at BLOOMBERG. The folks who read sources like this do so because they’re investing for their own future. Yes, some care about the rest of the folks in the country, as well. No straw man needed to make this point. Voluntary or not … this change will continue!

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