UNEP says falling clean energy costs to hasten post-COVID-19 recovery

Source: Xinhua| 2020-06-10 22:38:45|Editor: huaxia

NAIROBI, June 10 (Xinhua) -- A slump in prices of clean energy sources linked to the COVID-19 pandemic will speed up the restoration of shattered livelihoods, says a new report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) released in Nairobi on Wednesday.

The Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2020 report indicates that the cost of installing renewable energy had hit historical lows, against a backdrop of COVID-19 pandemic.

"The falling clean energy costs also create opportunities to boost climate action in COVID-19 recovery packages," says the report.

Inger Andersen, UNEP executive director, said that evidence-based research indicates that renewable energy is one of the smartest, cost-effective investments that can hasten post-COVID-19 global economic recovery.

"The chorus of voices calling on governments to use their COVID-19 recovery packages to create sustainable economies is growing," said Andersen.

She urged governments to take advantage of the falling price of renewable energy and place them at the heart of COVID-19 economic recovery strategies.

The clean energy report that was prepared by UNEP in conjunction with Frankfurt School, a UNEP Collaborating Centre and Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said that the cost of electricity continues to fall for wind and solar.

"Costs for electricity from new solar photovoltaic plants in the second half of 2019 were 83 percent lower than a decade earlier," says the report.

It says that renewable energy has been eating away at fossil fuels' dominant share of electricity generation over the last decade.

"Nearly 78 percent of the net new GW of generating capacity added globally in 2019 was in wind, solar, biomass and waste, geothermal and small hydro. Investment in renewables, excluding large hydro, was more than three times that in new fossil fuel plants," said the report.

The clean energy report said that the fossil fuel sector had been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with demand for coal and gas-fired electricity down in many countries, and oil prices slumping. Enditem