June 25, 2020 Read More →

IRENA’s La Camera touts renewables as cleanest, most resilient means of power production


The renewable power sector has grown its share of the market globally during the coronavirus pandemic, while oil, natural gas and coal have all declined, the director general of the International Renewable Energy Agency said June 24.

Even as oil prices slumped amid the pandemic, the share of renewables in production of electricity has grown in all parts of the world, Francesco La Camera said in a webinar co-sponsored by the Financial Times.

“We have heard voices saying the COVID-19 was going to destroy the direction of renewable energy and we have said from the beginning this was just going in another direction,” he said. “The past five months have taught us that renewables have been proven as the most resilient way to produce energy. So, they are not only the cleanest but also the most resilient way to produce energy.”

The increasing share of renewables in the power mix underscored the need for battery storage development, according to Bruno Brunetti, head of global power planning at S&P Global Platts Analytics, in New York. “As more conventional generating capacity is retired, especially in the US and Europe, we believe more batteries will be needed to boost flexibility and supplement renewables for peaking capacity,” Brunetti said.

Global renewables capacity — solar and wind — will increase by about 162 GW in 2020, about 6% lower than projected in February, Platts Analysts forecast. Capacity additions in 2021-25 were seen staying even with 2019 levels, or up by an average 168 GW each year, it estimated.

Solar and wind will account for about 9% of the global power generation mix in 2020, Brunetti said.

[Claudia Carpenter]

More: Renewables building power market share during COVID-19: IRENA

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