Major economies should divert fossil fuel Covid-recovery cash to clean energy before it’s too late

A report by Finnish company Wärtsilä has estimated the potential impact if every dollar committed to a non-renewables energy sector recovery was instead funneled to clean power.

Taxpayers will be left to pick up the bill in nations that tilt Covid-recovery packages towards fossil fuels, according to a new report, because the bad economics of legacy generation assets will force companies to withdraw somewhere down the line – and leave a big clean-up operation.

Kingsmill Bond could be accused of over-optimism when he writes, in a new publication by Finnish marine and energy company Wärtsilä, that last year “global demand for fossil fuels peaked and is unlikely to recover to its pre-[Covid-19]crisis levels,” however other statements he made in the report appear undeniable. Bond, an energy strategist for London-based thinktank Carbon Tracker, warns governments “it would be deeply irresponsible to try and build back the old system” before adding: “business-as-usual is well and truly over.”

Wärtsilä’s Aligning stimulus with energy transformation report, published today, overlays analysis of more than 200 energy-focused Covid recovery stimulus policies announced in G20 nations since March, with modeling of how nations could arrive at 100% clean energy power mixes. The latter, Atlas of 100% Renewable Energy tool drawn up by Wärtsilä – and based on a database compiled by the Finland’s Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology – enables the report to forecast how much further towards 100%-renewables nations could get if they devoted all their Covid recovery cash to clean power.

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