Towards the end of 2020, the Covid crisis took an unwanted upturn again, but there is good news for the energy transition – this does not seem to be denting the scale of ambition to decarbonise energy. The last few months have seen swathes of governments doubling down on their decarbonisation goals. Just a few examples include:
- The European Commission launched its Renovation Wave Strategy which could see the emergence of minimum energy standards for existing buildings
- The UK announced a 10-point plan for decarbonisation, including a 20-fold increase in annual heat pump sales and no new fossil fuelled cars by 2030
- France confirmed an oil boiler ban in existing buildings from 2022, and revealed tightening building regulations which will make it increasingly challenging for natural gas boilers in new build
- Denmark announced a ban on new oil exploration
- Norway announced an increase in CO2 tax by 2030 to a level which could actually drive real change in consumer decision-making.
Policy makers have agreed ambitious targets before, without transformational change in the energy transition transpiring. So what’s different this time? Crucially, the industry is onboard too, driving the ambition level upwards. Leading players from the energy sector (and even other sectors) are staking their futures on the transition to new energy: Oil majors, incumbent energy suppliers, ‘new entrant’ energy companies, network operators and others are setting net zero targets and investing in new energy.
2020 will be remembered not only for Covid, but as the first year where new energy became mainstream. 2021 looks positive – both for tackling Covid-19 and for capturing new energy opportunities!