Despite the fact that oil companies seem to be struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic, renewable energy is expected to see a growth spurt, albeit at a slow rate. On the other hand, the fossil fuel industry has been hit hard due to a decrease in gas and oil demand.
Just a short time ago, this would have caused an increase in the use of fossil fuels, while causing a decrease in wind and solar energy. Currently, this is not the case.
For the first time in 2020, renewable energy accounts for almost 21% of the energy consumed by the U.S., which is an 18% increase over last year. While it is true that some renewable energy projects have been slowed by the pandemic, experts predict that solar and wind energy will continue to have a growth spurt as coal, oil and gas experience a serious decline.
Areas such as Texas and California are able to produce energy via solar panels and wind turbines more cost efficiently than natural gas and coal, making them more appealing to both major investors and utility companies. Oil prices have dropped by almost half due to COVID-19. This is due to the fact that the majority of state governments issued stay at home orders.
Those who are losing revenue will now rely more on using solar and wind farms as a major source of energy. These options are easier to operate and require less power than fossil fuels.
According to The Solar Energy Industries Association, approximately 250,000 workers in the industry will be out of work as a result due to COVID-19. Projected growth has been downgraded by about 33% of 19 or more gigawatts of new solar capacity than was originally estimated for 20202.
This attributes to the fact that a great many renewable companies have benefited from state and federal government steps to tackle climate change. It has fueled a decrease in the cost of solar and wind equipment, making the industry more flexible for shifts in the economy.
As well, renewables are more financially appealing. They can be implemented faster and more efficiently than nuclear, coal and natural gas plants. For this reason, it is believed that renewable energy will continue to grow and prove to be both a reliable source of energy as well as the potential for thousands of jobs in the future.