Montel’s Podcast: Energy Sector Post COVID-19 Will Move Towards RES
Date: May 13th 2020
Author: Peter Palčec
“Europe’s power sector after the coronavirus pandemic will see a lot of changes. First of all, the squeeze on liquidity means that people will be cautious about investments. We will also probably see a big change in Europe’s energy mix. It is now becoming evident that essential operations that require fuels are less of a priority, because they incur higher marginal costs. In general, 2020 has so far been a year in which we have seen a massive increase in the use of renewables and other low carbon sources across a number of EU member states - a trend that will continue throughout the year. There is also a near full consensus across all parties that the recovery from the pandemic should be a green one and that it should be aligned with the political priorities of decarbonisation,” said Kristian Ruby, the secretary general of Eurelectric, in a podcast for Montel.According to Ruby, the power sector in Europe has been very successful in structuring operations and putting in place measures that have prevented major energy supply disturbances and have secured business continuity during the coronavirus pandemic.
“This is a clear sign to society that Europe’s electricity sector can be relied on in the event of major emergencies. Of course, such a big downturn in economic activity also has an impact on the power sector. There has been a drop in power demand across Europe - in some countries by as much as up to 25% to 30%. The significant drop in demand caused the drop in the electricity prices and will have a huge overall impact on the balance sheets of utilities by the end of the year. This year revenues from power generation and distribution will drop across Europe. We cannot really say when Europe’s power sector will return to pre-pandemic times, since coronavirus has affected European countries differently and the measures that have been implemented also differ. With lockdowns gradually being lessened, we will probably see a second wave of contagion, which could cause a second lockdown this year,” explained Ruby.
Speaking about social distancing, he commented that throughout the crisis, it has been impressive how quickly and with such agility the energy sector has been able to adjust its operations. “Utilities had to basically adjust the working environments of about 50,000 people overnight. Additionally, it was critical to single out those essential staff members who are in charge of ensuring the security of supply. These people were isolated and thus utilities have been able to avoid any blackouts for the duration of the lockdown measures. I think we are entering a phase of our lives where we will travel less and work more remotely, even after we return to normal,” added Ruby.
You can listen to Montel’s COVID-19 related podcast here, and tune in to a new episode every afternoon to get the latest news and data from key industry experts.
This article is available also in Slovene.