Yale Environment 360 discusses how Renewable Energy Could Emerge on Top After the Pandemic. The short-term prospects for wind and solar power look rocky amid the economic upheaval of the coronavirus. But long term, renewables could emerge stronger than ever, especially if governments integrate support for clean energy into Covid-19 economic-recovery programs.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, renewable energy was growing steadily — but still not fast enough to meet the Paris Agreement’s carbon reduction goals, let alone to make the further strides needed to keep climate change from spiraling out of control.
Now, the virus-induced economic shock is likely to slow the expansion of wind, solar, and other clean power sources, at least temporarily, experts say. But while lockdowns, social distancing requirements, and financial uncertainties have put some new projects on ice, the underlying strengths of renewables remain strong, and analysts expect their economic advantage over volatile fossil fuels will only increase in the long term.
Whether the pandemic ultimately puts clean energy on a faster track than before, though, depends to a large extent on the choices political leaders make now, analysts say. Which means 2020 is shaping up to be a pivotal moment for renewables — and the world’s hopes of checking warming.