Do alternative energies pay the oil price collapse tax on the back of the Coronavirus?

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At a time when the world witnessed a race towards developing renewable and clean energies to reduce dependency on polluted and depleting fossil energies of esoteric resources, the Corona epidemic surprised everyone and caused a decline in the demand for traditional energies, the demand for which decreased and prices fell sharply. Some people wonder whether the demand for new energies will be affected after the Corona crisis when traditional energies regain the interest of the economies of countries.

In recent years, the world has moved in line with the current digital and technological revolution towards a new energy policy, based on the exploitation of Renewable energy And clean as hydroelectric and wind generatorssolar energy, Instead of exploiting fossil fuels that depend mainly on oil, coal, and gas, which have a negative impact on the climate and the environment.

The purpose of exploiting these energies is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and air pollution that contribute to climate change, and to keep the main bet today is to reduce global warming and warming the surface of the earth whose disastrous consequences are beginning to appear on natural and animal wealth, and of course, on humans.

The Corona virus pushed the world into an unprecedented and abrupt economic gulf that imposed in most countries a policy of quarantine to prevent its spread and stop its deadly crawl.

Investment in renewable energies declined

The quarantine caused by the outbreak of the Coronavirus has produced a slowdown in the global economy that has caused a severe drop in energy consumption in general and traditional energies in particular, which will reduce toxic gas emissions, but on the other hand this decline may be accompanied by a significant decrease in the development of renewable energies.

Oil prices tumbled to record levels even that The price of US crude oil Monday, April 20, reached below zero for the first time in history, as oil production companies were forced to pay money to customers to obtain the oil they produced so that their crude stockpiles did not accumulate during the month of May.

Falling oil prices, a new virus that may destroy clean energies?

The decline in oil prices due to the collapse of global demand and the emergence of a new storage crisis may push companies and even countries to take advantage of this traditional energy, which has lost an extreme proportion of its value and whose prices have fallen instead of investing in clean but also expensive new energies.

Michel Dardavat, a professor at the Institute of Political Studies in Paris, who specializes in energy, considered that lower oil prices may encourage the suspension of efforts to develop renewable energies and significantly reduce investments in new projects that rely on these renewable energies. It is feared that companies may cancel or in the best case postpone the investment in these energies.

French historian and economist Philippe Chalmaine, a specialist in the raw materials market, believes that “after quarantine, low oil prices may slow the transition in the energy sector by diminishing the competitiveness of renewable energies … which could threaten the development of biofuels or the development of electric cars” As he says.

Countries may also be tempted by the decline in oil to these historical levels, as it has accelerated the purchase of huge quantities of these polluted fossil energies at the expense of investing in new energies, which will also ensure that they make a profit in their budgets.

Even the IEA chief executive, Fatih Birol, confirmed in An article on LinkedIn In mid-March, governments that dealt with several current crises should give urgent importance to the move towards clean energies. “

While the amount of solar panels production is expected to decline during the first time in the year 2020, for the first time since the eighties of the last century, according to a report by “Bloomberg New Energy Finance,” especially that most of these panels are made in China and Southeast Asia, where industrial activity is experiencing a sharp slowdown due to the epidemic and stone policy Health care used to contain it.

A group awareness of the importance of getting rid of polluted energies?

However, some opinions believe that the current health crisis may have unforeseen consequences, which may raise collective awareness of the benefits of eliminating polluted energies. We even noticed improvement in several cities on a level Decreased pollution and air quality In urban areas and in major capitals by more than 12%.

There was also a decrease in the level of nitrogen dioxide and factory gases, the activities of which were greatly reduced, a decrease in the levels of air pollution, as a result of the almost complete cessation of flights, and the beginning of the recovery of the ozone layer, which recorded the best level in 30 years.

The Corona virus crisis may then compel us to rethink the future by favoring new energies and putting in place a renewable, frugal and environmentally friendly energy system, which high technology is trying to support by accelerating recycling technologies, reducing conventional energy use and pushing more and more towards renewable and clean energies such as Exploiting solar energy, wind and even hydropower.

Imad Bensaeed