COVID-19 impacts on energy demand can help reduce long-term mitigation challenge

Kikstra, J. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9405-1228, Vinca, A. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3051-178X, Lovat, F. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4331-980X, Boza-Kiss, B. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4005-2481, van Ruijven, B. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1232-5892, Wilson, C., Rogelj, J., Zakeri, B. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9647-2878, et al. (2021). COVID-19 impacts on energy demand can help reduce long-term mitigation challenge. Nature Portfolio 10.21203/rs.3.rs-155224/v1. (Submitted)

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Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic caused radical temporary breaks with past energy use trends. However, how a post-pandemic recovery will impact the longer-term energy transition is unclear. Here, we present a set of global COVID-19 shock-and-recovery scenarios that systematically explore the demand-side effect on final energy and GHG emissions. Our pathways project final energy demand reductions of 12 to 40 EJ/yr by 2025 and cumulative CO2 emissions reductions by 2030 of 28 to 53 GtCO2, depending on the depth and duration of the economic downturn and demand-side changes. Recovering from the pandemic with low energy demand practices - embedded in new patterns of travel, work, consumption, and production – reduces climate mitigation challenges. A low energy demand recovery reduces carbon prices for a 1.5°C consistent pathway by 19%, lowers energy supply investments until 2030 by 2.1 trillion USD, and lessens pressure on the upscaling of renewable energy technologies.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, energy use trends, energy transition
Research Programs: Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE)
Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) > Integrated Assessment and Climate Change (IACC)
Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) > Sustainable Service Systems (S3)
Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) > Transformative Institutional and Social Solutions (TISS)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2021 08:33
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:34
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/17147

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