The coronavirus crisis is causing havoc across the globe and has highlighted how much modern societies rely on electricity, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Monday.
According to the Paris-based agency, the unprecedented crisis caused by the Covid-19 virus is showing the need for a reliable electricity supply. Millions of people are now confined to their homes, resorting to working, studying, entertaining and shopping remotely. Electricity is critical for operating the ventilators and other medical equipment in the hospitals treating the soaring numbers of sick people.
“Governments are rightly focused on the immediate public health emergency, but they have to remain vigilant on electricity security and safeguard vital assets amid the extreme volatility in markets,” said IEA’s executive director Fatih Birol. “In these extraordinary times, we can manage without many things, but we can’t manage without electricity.”
That’s why the IEA is recommending governments put clean energy at the heart of stimulus plans, Kallanish Energy learns.
“Large-scale investment to boost the development, deployment and integration of clean energy technologies – such as solar, wind, hydrogen, batteries and carbon capture (CCUS) – should be a central part of governments’ plans because it will bring the twin benefits of stimulating economies and accelerating clean energy transitions,” it said.
As the virus spreads around the world, travel/movement restrictions increase and demand for crude oil collapses. The drop in demand has been met by exceptional influx of supply, leading oil prices to historically low levels.
As a result, oil producing countries, which heavily rely on crude revenues, are facing critical challenges. “With oil prices at current levels, vulnerable producer countries may see oil income plunge by up to 85%,” the IEA estimated.
This will put their public finances under even greater pressure, affecting vital services like health and education. Thus, the IEA recommends countries to introduce reforms and diversify their economies away from oil, investing in clean energy.
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