Energy vital for coronavirus response and recovery, says IEA

06 April 2020

The energy sector is uniquely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, but it is also critical to global and national response and recovery efforts, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said today.

(Image: IEA)

Launching its COVID-19 analysis hub, the IEA said: "Energy security remains a major area of attention and the crisis highlights the critical value of electricity infrastructure and know-how, underpinning the response to the coronavirus pandemic. It demonstrates the central role and importance of electricity, and what policy makers need to do in order to ensure that current and future systems remain reliable even as they are transformed by the rise of clean energy technologies.

"And as governments respond to these interlinked crises, they must not lose sight of a major challenge of our time: clean energy transitions," it said.

Governments are developing stimulus plans in an effort to counter the economic damage from the coronavirus, it noted. "These packages offer an excellent opportunity to ensure that the essential task of building a secure and sustainable energy future doesn't get lost amid the flurry of immediate priorities."

The IEA is providing data and in-depth analysis on the effects of the crisis, and recommendations on how governments and industry can make decisions that will lead to the affordable, secure and sustainable energy systems of the future.

It is producing a special World Energy Outlook report that will examine near-term and actionable measures that could be a part of post-pandemic economic recovery plans.

"With a strong focus on job creation and growth impact, these measures would be based on rigorous analysis of proven policies and case studies," the IEA said. "They could form an 'operational toolbox' for policy makers looking to build more advanced and sustainable energy systems within their economic recovery efforts."

The report will be published in the coming months.

The huge disruption caused by the coronavirus crisis has highlighted how much modern societies rely on electricity and how firm capacity, such as that provided by nuclear power, is a crucial element in ensuring supply, IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said last month.

In a commentary posted on LinkedIn, he said: "The coronavirus crisis reminds us of electricity's indispensable role in our lives. It's also providing insights into how that role is set to expand and evolve in the years and decades ahead."

World Nuclear Association Director General Agneta Rising said recently, "The nuclear industry, with its strong safety culture and well-established emergency preparedness protocols, has been able to respond swiftly to the disruptions created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies have implemented business continuity plans and prepared for the impacts of the response to the virus."

Researched and written by World Nuclear News