How is the pandemic affecting the energy industry?

There are many ways the Corona Virus pandemic will change our world forever including the impact it will have on various industries. Our industry will be changed in ways we cannot yet imagine. However, some of the positive and negative impacts it will have are beginning to emerge including on oil demand and prices, production of equipment for renewables such as solar panels, carbon emissions and cancelling of key events.

Oil demand and prices

The current low cost of oil has raised questions about the future of clean energy deployment and climate action.

Reed Blakemoredeputy director, Global Energy Center, Atlantic Council stated that

“If the first phase of COVID-19’s effects on the global energy system is a story of energy consumption, oil demand, and emissions, the second phase will be how emerging supply chains of the energy transition shift as the pandemic reaches its turning point and the world begins to recover.”

Solar equipment production

China is the worlds largest solar equipment manufacturer and approximately 90% of U.S. silicon “wafers” – which are used to make solar cells – are made in China.  Although things are slowly starting up again, it will take a while for supply chains to get back to normal.

Some experts predict that product prices will increase as the demand gets higher than the supply.

Carbon emissions

It is becoming clear that some of the world’s biggest polluters are giving off less carbon due to the halt in both travel and industry. The reduced number of people travelling to and from work, taking flights and using public transport is leading to reduced carbon emissions. An example of reduced pollution is waterways such as Venice returning to their natural colour. However, some scientists argue that these examples might just be a blip. One thing they all seem to agree on, however, is that real sustained reductions in emissions will only happen if companies and governments find a sustainable way of continuing this reduction in CO2 when the crisis has been averted.

Cancelling of key events

One of the numerous events cancelled due to the outbreak is the COP26 event. This was to be held in Glasgow in 2020 and has been rescheduled for 2021. This event is one of the most important in planning how to tackle climate change from 2021 onwards.

Alok Sharma, a British official and President of the conference tweeted on April 1

“The world is currently facing an unprecedented global challenge and countries are rightly focusing their efforts on saving lives and fighting Covid-19. We will continue working tirelessly with our partners to deliver the ambition needed to tackle the climate crisis and I look forward to agreeing on a new date for the conference.”

These are just a few examples but if you can think of anymore, let us know on either Twitter or Linkendin!