The pandemic COVID-19 has changed how we travel, socialise and work. It is affecting all parts of society, and by that also the cleantech sector. Some effects are already seen worldwide.
Wind and Solar Power
Solar power has been growing for the past decade. As an effect of the Coronavirus, this trend might now be broken.
According to a report made by Research group Bloomberg in March this year, the solar manufacturing industry might be strongly affected by the ongoing pandemic. Due to the current crisis, Bloomberg has changed its 2020 global solar demand forecast from 121-152 GW to 108-143 GW. The biggest impact on installations will be in China. In provinces such as Sichuan and Zhejiang, some factories are running at half their capacity, according to Bloomberg.
According to the report, wind power is more resistant due to more harmonised systems in construction and delivery. But a decrease could still be shown also on wind power, as an effect of the pandemic.
Clean Energy Investments
According to The International Energy Agency, the Coronavirus could weaken global investments in clean energy and broader efforts to reduce emissions. The agency has urged governments not to lose sight of the climate crisis and clean energy solutions as the work with stimulus packages to counter economic damages continues.
Some effects on the future of cleantech are already shown. The EU Green Deal risks being delayed as a consequence of COVID-19 and in the United States, a group of Democrats in the House of Representatives wants to include renewable energy tax credits in a larger stimulus package.
Reduced Air Pollution
But it is not all bad. China, which stands for about 30 % of the CO2 emissions in total, reduced their emissions by 25 % in the last two weeks in February, which equals 150 million tons CO2 to the atmosphere. This is about three times more than Sweden emitted during the whole year in 2018. The effects were even visible from space, as seen on the NASA satellite images. However, recent images have shown that the effect is already decreasing, and the reduction of CO2 emissions is believed to be short-term.