The Future Of Renewable Energies: Predictions For 2021
At the beginning of 2020, renewable energy was the fastest-growing market sector globally. Many predictions were made about the continued expansion of the industry in the near future. These predictions stemmed from the advancements in technology that should occur, the increased political and social pressure on investment in green energy, and the drop in costs for the installation of wind, solar, and other renewable technologies.
But 2020 did not go according to plan. The world changed dramatically since the start of the year, so all predictions have changed. The unforeseen COVID-19 pandemic has caused great change and there is still a lot of uncertainty about the future. Industries are all trying to best evaluate their current standing and consider how things might be in a post-lockdown world considering the latest information available. This article will consider the future of renewable energies in 2021 and what can be expected.
2. Drop In Installations
The international energy alliance (IEA) predicts that the number of worldwide renewable power installations will drop for the first time in 20 years due to delays in construction activity, lockdown measures, social-distancing challenges, and emerging financial challenges. The IEA anticipates combined growth in 2020 and 2021 to be around 10% lower than their previous forecast in October 2019.
Solar energy and wind energy will, as expected, continue to make up most of the renewable energy market in 2021. These renewable energies account for 86% of global renewable capacity additions, but the IEA expects that these areas will also fall by 18% and 12% respectively in comparison to 2019 figures. The installation of commercial solar energy continues to be a great way for businesses to save money, reduce their carbon footprint, and provide a secure future energy supply, which are all factors that are more important than ever for many businesses coming out of lockdown and moving forward into the unknown future.
The biofuels market is often overlooked, but it has been steadily increasing for the last two decades as consumers and manufacturers seek to move away from petrol and diesel. The regulations of lockdown however mean that far fewer people around the globe are driving and demand for all fuels are falling. Biofuels are expected to drop by as much as 13% in 2021.
3. Long Term Growth
A decline in the number of new renewable power installations means that there won’t be as many new sources but it does not mean there won’t be any. A lot of the impact of Covid-19 on the industry is a delay, not an end to projects. The effects of the pandemic are negative in the short term but long term, it will even itself out. The majority of delayed projects are expected to become reinstated in 2021. This would make renewables the only energy source to experience growth - as opposed to the likes of oil, gas, coal, and nuclear.
Existing renewable energies infrastructure provides benefits as well. Due to 2019’s record year for additional capacity, there is a greater amount of renewable energy available. The impact of the global lockdown has reduced the demand for energy from industrial users and this means that renewables appear to have a larger market share. In Britain, more power usage came from renewables than fossil fuels for the first time ever, with almost half the electricity used in the country coming from wind and solar sources. As businesses return and power usage increases once again, political leaders will want to see percentages stay the same and so greater priority will be put on increasing the renewable energy supply in line with demand.
4. Increased Support
Renewable energy has always been seen as a minor competitor to the fossil fuels industry, but over the last few years, it has significantly grown to reveal itself as a real threat to traditional energy sources. The renewable energies industry has proven its strength to withstand economic challenges, with projects large enough to now be considered vital to many areas.
The greater reliance on renewable energy in Britain over the past few years has created thousands of jobs across the UK, bringing billions in investments into the economy. The strength of this means that the industry can no longer be ignored by governments. The potential for more investment and more jobs in the country, plus a positive social image, means that future legislation support of renewable businesses in the country can be expected. With governments and businesses forced to streamline their interests, it is almost certain that there will be a continued focus on renewable power over other areas in the future, resulting in a greater potential for growth in the coming years.
The benefits of renewables are clear and robust, and importantly have been proven reliable over many years. We expect to continue to see grid supplied electricity prices rise. This is great news if businesses have installed their own renewable energy source which will help them mitigate the rising costs of electricity.