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As discussions around the world turn toward post-pandemic recovery efforts, discussions around the role of renewable energy in kickstarting the world’s economy have been gaining in momentum. 

In the last 24-hours, CNBC, the Guardian and Forbes have all published articles in which the role of renewables has been highlighted and reiterated.

Forbes’s Enrique Dans calls the Coronavirus just the first part of a multi-stage battle saying: “the battle humanity is waging against the coronavirus is only the preliminary round, and after that, we have a much bigger and stronger opponent waiting for us, called the climate emergency.” Dans continues that the growth in economies of scale for both solar power and battery storage is making a change to renewable energy more propitious than ever with these two technologies being more affordable and efficient than ever.

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Read more about our coverage on the Coronavirus

He continues: ‘Reconstructing the energy supply  map of a country, even those in the developing world, has never made more sense.”

According to Innes Willox, CE of the Australian Industry Group, “There is a lot we can do to rebuild stronger and cleaner. The need is urgent. Covid-19 and climate are bigger than any economic challenge we’ve faced in the last century.” Willox and others, such as Investor Agenda, are urging governments around the globe to include climate solutions in any pandemic recovery plans they table.

Emily Atkin, a journalist and podcaster, has a slightly more ‘to the point’ observation.

“I’m sorry,” says Atkin, “but if you still refuse to see parallels between climate change and coronavirus then honestly you’re just stupid.” Atkin draws parallels to the fact that deaths from the coronavirus are highest in areas with the worst air pollution levels and that the destruction of biodiversity makes pandemics all the more likely. [Read the original article on Atkin here for some good insights into the parallels].

As there is increased public pressure to address the post pandemic recovery, news of US President Donald Trump’s threat to increase tariffs on imports from China will no doubt impact recovery efforts. Just how, remains to be seen. While Mr Trump is keen to ‘decouple’ from China, the implications for the renewable energy sector could be dire. China is the world’s largest producer of renewable energy components and produces these at prices hard to match in an era of economic recovery. Will Mr Trump’s insistence on deepening the divide with China work to his country’s benefit, or will it only bring more hardship for a country already struggling with the impact of the pandemic? Will his denials of climate change continue to work against that industry as well, at a time when more and more experts are calling for a consolidated, combined response to tackling the recovery economy?

Your thoughts, as always, are welcome. We encourage discussion and disagreement with our editorial comment and look forward to the opportunity to engage with our readers.

In the meantime, the Smart Energy International team wish you well.

Until next time!
Claire

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