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能源市场遭遇重创,但可再生能源仍将保持增长

能源市场遭遇重创,但可再生能源仍将保持增长

Katherine Dunn 2020年05月22日
今年本应该是可再生能源发展再创新高的一年。

相反,国际能源署(International Energy Agency)称,2020年,可再生能源装机容量几乎势不可挡的增长趋势突然中断,与创纪录的2019年相比,今年的新装机容量预计将减少13%。总部位于巴黎的国际能源署表示,这是二十多年来,可再生能源新增装机容量首次下降。

下降的原因当然是因为新冠疫情延误了项目安装和融资,尤其是屋顶太阳能面板。屋顶太阳能是可再生能源增长的主要来源。但实际上,在全球施行封锁令之前政策就已经开始转变。

其中一项转变是停止发放补贴。因为近几年,许多绿色技术的成本效率水平,已经足以让政府终止由国家扶持的价格支持制度。即使在中国也是如此。中国是全球最大的可再生能源市场,也是大部分可再生能源基础设施的制造中心。

但事实证明,绿色技术的价格下降不足以对抗新冠疫情的影响。国际能源署执行董事法提赫·比罗尔在周三与记者的电话会议中表示,虽然经济状况在逐步改善,但“这并不足以使可再生能源抵御新冠疫情的影响,包括经济衰退的冲击。”

他说:“因此,现在政府在支持可再生能源发展方面,应该发挥更重要的作用。”

国际能源署还指出,在受到疫情影响的能源行业,可再生能源的“弹性”是一种市场优势。虽然交通停运和工业活动停摆,导致整体能源需求大幅减少,预计2020年的石油需求将减少1,200万桶,这种情况史无前例,但可再生能源市场仍将保持增长。

尽管可再生能源的增长速度大幅下降,但清洁能源仍将同比增长6%。国际能源署在上个月表示,可再生能源在整体能源组合中所占的比例也在扩大。

这在一定程度上体现了能源需求受到影响的不同方式:与交通运输业尤其是航空运输业相比,电网更容易依赖低碳或零碳排放能源。到目前为止,仍没有可以大规模取代航空煤油的商业产品。

然而,比罗尔警告,对于可再生能源的弹性,“不能认为是理所当然的。”

虽然从容量的角度来看,从化石燃料向可再生能源转变的速度飞快,但全世界的能源消耗依旧依赖化石燃料,而且随着能源需求持续增长,包括欧盟在内的许多国家和地区都面临着2050年之前实现能源系统完全脱碳这一挑战。

国际能源署表示,许多大型可再生能源项目,比如水力发电项目,因为建设周期较长,所以受到封锁令影响的可能性较小,但小型项目,尤其是太阳能发电项目,最有可能受到融资问题和项目延期的影响。但该机构预计,今年可再生能源新增容量仍将有超过一半来自太阳能发电。

自疫情爆发以来,国际能源署曾公开呼吁各国政府在解除封锁并确定疫情造成的经济破坏程度之后,将向绿色低碳能源转型作为经济重建计划的基本组成部分。但这不再是直截了当的请求。为了使经济尽快重回正轨,各国政府的财政赤字都在持续攀升。与此同时,公司正在放弃大型资本投资项目。气候专家像往常一样表示担忧,认为当全球经济衰退会导致气候目标受到冷落。

在《财富》杂志最近对首席执行官的调查中,这种情绪表现地非常明显。当首席执行官们被问及是否认为“由于眼前最重要的是经济问题,因此对环境的担忧会有所降温。”大部分人(42% vs. 35%)给出了肯定回答。(财富中文网)

翻译:刘进龙

审校:汪皓

相反,国际能源署(International Energy Agency)称,2020年,可再生能源装机容量几乎势不可挡的增长趋势突然中断,与创纪录的2019年相比,今年的新装机容量预计将减少13%。总部位于巴黎的国际能源署表示,这是二十多年来,可再生能源新增装机容量首次下降。

下降的原因当然是因为新冠疫情延误了项目安装和融资,尤其是屋顶太阳能面板。屋顶太阳能是可再生能源增长的主要来源。但实际上,在全球施行封锁令之前政策就已经开始转变。

其中一项转变是停止发放补贴。因为近几年,许多绿色技术的成本效率水平,已经足以让政府终止由国家扶持的价格支持制度。即使在中国也是如此。中国是全球最大的可再生能源市场,也是大部分可再生能源基础设施的制造中心。

但事实证明,绿色技术的价格下降不足以对抗新冠疫情的影响。国际能源署执行董事法提赫·比罗尔在周三与记者的电话会议中表示,虽然经济状况在逐步改善,但“这并不足以使可再生能源抵御新冠疫情的影响,包括经济衰退的冲击。”

他说:“因此,现在政府在支持可再生能源发展方面,应该发挥更重要的作用。”

国际能源署还指出,在受到疫情影响的能源行业,可再生能源的“弹性”是一种市场优势。虽然交通停运和工业活动停摆,导致整体能源需求大幅减少,预计2020年的石油需求将减少1,200万桶,这种情况史无前例,但可再生能源市场仍将保持增长。

尽管可再生能源的增长速度大幅下降,但清洁能源仍将同比增长6%。国际能源署在上个月表示,可再生能源在整体能源组合中所占的比例也在扩大。

这在一定程度上体现了能源需求受到影响的不同方式:与交通运输业尤其是航空运输业相比,电网更容易依赖低碳或零碳排放能源。到目前为止,仍没有可以大规模取代航空煤油的商业产品。

然而,比罗尔警告,对于可再生能源的弹性,“不能认为是理所当然的。”

虽然从容量的角度来看,从化石燃料向可再生能源转变的速度飞快,但全世界的能源消耗依旧依赖化石燃料,而且随着能源需求持续增长,包括欧盟在内的许多国家和地区都面临着2050年之前实现能源系统完全脱碳这一挑战。

国际能源署表示,许多大型可再生能源项目,比如水力发电项目,因为建设周期较长,所以受到封锁令影响的可能性较小,但小型项目,尤其是太阳能发电项目,最有可能受到融资问题和项目延期的影响。但该机构预计,今年可再生能源新增容量仍将有超过一半来自太阳能发电。

自疫情爆发以来,国际能源署曾公开呼吁各国政府在解除封锁并确定疫情造成的经济破坏程度之后,将向绿色低碳能源转型作为经济重建计划的基本组成部分。但这不再是直截了当的请求。为了使经济尽快重回正轨,各国政府的财政赤字都在持续攀升。与此同时,公司正在放弃大型资本投资项目。气候专家像往常一样表示担忧,认为当全球经济衰退会导致气候目标受到冷落。

在《财富》杂志最近对首席执行官的调查中,这种情绪表现地非常明显。当首席执行官们被问及是否认为“由于眼前最重要的是经济问题,因此对环境的担忧会有所降温。”大部分人(42% vs. 35%)给出了肯定回答。(财富中文网)

翻译:刘进龙

审校:汪皓

Instead, 2020 represents a sudden break in what appeared to be a nearly unstoppable rise in the capacity of renewable energy, the International Energy Agency said Wednesday—with capacity growth expected to drop by 13% compared with the record pace set in 2019. That marks the first drop in renewable capacity growth in over two decades, the agency said.

That drop is due, of course, to the COVID-19 pandemic—which has delayed installation and financing for projects, particularly rooftop-installed solar panels, a powerful source of renewable energy growth. But it also represents policy shifts that were already in place before global lockdowns began, the Paris-based agency said.

That included a halt to subsidies as many of the green technologies have in recent years become cost-efficient enough for governments to allow state-backed price support schemes to simply lapse. This is even true in China—the single biggest renewables market, as well as the manufacturing center for a large proportion of its infrastructure.

Dwindling prices for green tech, however, are proving to be no match for COVID-19. The economics, while steadily improving, “will not be enough to shelter renewables from the impacts of coronavirus, including the economic downturn,” said Fatih Birol, executive director of the IEA, on a call with reporters on Wednesday.

“Therefore the role of governments is more important than ever in terms of the support for renewables,” he noted.

The IEA also pointed to the “resilience” of renewables as a market advantage in an otherwise battered sector. Even as frozen transport and paused industrial activity wallops overall energy demand—oil demand in 2020 is expected to decline by a record 12 million barrels—the renewable energy market is still expected to increase.

Even with a sharp decline in the pace of renewable energy growth, clean energy will still grow by 6% year over year. Renewable energy also represents a larger proportion of the total energy makeup, the IEA said last month.

That’s partly a reflection of the ways in which energy demand has been hit: Electricity grids can rely more easily on low- or no-carbon energy sources, compared with transport, particularly air travel, where there is still no large-scale low-carbon commercial alternative to jet fuel.

However, that resiliency “cannot be taken for granted,” warned Birol.

While the scale of the shift toward renewable energy, and away from fossil fuels, has been rapid in terms of capacity, the world still remains dependent on fossil fuels for energy, and many countries and regions—including the EU—face the challenge of completely decarbonizing energy systems by 2050, even as energy demand itself continues to grow.

Many of the largest renewable projects—for example, hydropower projects—are also constructed over longer time periods, and so less likely to be threatened by the lockdowns, the IEA said, while smaller projects, particularly solar, are most likely to be hit by financing issues and delays. More than half of this year’s growth is still expected to come in the form of solar power, the agency said.

The IEA has, since the beginning of the pandemic, openly urged governments to make a transition to green, low-carbon energy a fundamental part of rebuilding economies as lockdowns ease and the full-scale of the economic devastation becomes clear. That’s not such a straightforward plea anymore. Governments are racking up historic deficits to quickly get their economies back on track. Meanwhile, companies are forgoing big capital investments. Climate experts have routinely expressed concern that climate goals will get short shrift in the fallout of the global recession we’re heading into.

In a recent Fortune poll of CEOs, this sentiment rang out clearly. Chief executives were asked whether they thought “concern about the environment will fall, as a result of more immediate focus on economic problems.” A larger number (42% vs. 35%) agreed with that statement.

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