Pandemic Leads To Staggering Drop In Energy Demand

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has said the outbreak of the coronavirus would eradicate the demand for fossil fuels by stimulating a collapse in energy demand seven times greater than the slump caused by the global financial crisis.

According to CNN, a report from the IEA states that the severe drop in demand, the most severe since the second world war, would trigger record low global consumption of oil, gas and coal for decades, while renewable energy will continue to grow.

The steady climb of renewable energy and the collapse in demand for fossil fuels will mean that green electricity will be playing its largest-ever role in the global energy system in 2020, and also help reduce a decade’s growth of carbon emissions.

Fatih Birol, the IEA’s executive director, said: “The plunge in demand for nearly all major fuels is staggering, especially for coal, oil and gas. Only renewables are holding up during the previously unheard of slump in electricity use.”

The growth of sustainable energy during a global crisis could motivate fossil fuel companies towards achieving their clean energy goals, according to Birol, but she says that governments should also include green energy at the heart of economic stimulus packages.

“It is still too early to determine the longer-term impacts,” said Birol. “But the energy industry that emerges from this crisis will be significantly different from the one that came before.”

The impact of the coronavirus has triggered a crisis for fossil fuel commodities, including the collapse of oil market prices, which turned negative for the first time in the US earlier this month.

Global efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 have led to severe restrictions on travel and the global economy that will cause the biggest drop in global oil demand in 25 years.

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