Covid-19 has created challenges for many businesses including those within the energy industry. New practises and social norms have lead to changes in demand and consumption; from more energy being consumed domestically due to people working from home, and a decrease in commercial energy as less people are going into the office.
One of the biggest changes for the energy sector has been a notable drop in demand for energy globally. The pandemic has caused a drop in the demand as many countries imposed lockdowns and strict travels bans. It is estimated that weekly energy demand was cut by around 17% during partial lockdowns and around 24% during full lockdowns. This drop in demand appears to have been global, with an overall decrease in energy demand appearing in many countries.
When looking at energy demand at a more macro level, despite this overall drop, there was a rise in residential and medical energy consumption. With more people working from home and therefore not only spending more time at home but using more energy for laptops, printers, lighting etc. meaning there has been a significant increase in demand for domestic energy. This increase in demand has also been seen in hospitals, with an increase in patients comes an increase in machine usage as well as the general running of facilities.
Whilst the reduced energy demand has affected the demand for fossil fuels, such a coal, there is an increased demand for cheaper renewable energy sources, with many companies reassessing how they get their energy.
The pandemic has brought about many changes and challenges to the energy sector, however it has also brought about many opportunities. Whilst the energy sector has been severely affected by Covid-19, with many energy companies struggling due to a lack of demand, the important question of how to recover with minimum impact on the environment has become more prevalent. It is more important now than ever to look at the impact the energy sector has on the environment and to look at greener solutions when rebuilding, with the opportunity to invest in renewable energy becoming increasingly important.