Navigating a Pandemic: The Crucial Role of Energy and the Future of Sustainability

The global pandemic has undeniably heightened our collective awareness of the fundamental importance of energy in our daily lives. It underscores just how reliant we are on a dependable electricity infrastructure to facilitate work, ensure our well-being, and sustain our societies in times of crisis.

In Poland, the outbreak of COVID-19 has precipitated a 7.5% decline in electricity demand, while Italy grapples with an even more pronounced drop of 18%. As the world confronts this unprecedented challenge, it becomes increasingly evident that the trajectories of electricity, fuel, and CO2 prices are inexorably linked to the global effort to combat the pandemic.

In light of these circumstances, ambitious sustainability initiatives like the Green New Deal may experience temporary postponements, but they are likely to be ultimately repositioned as countries, including Poland, recognize the imperative need for support in the wake of the crisis. Some voices within Europe are calling for a temporary halt to the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) or even exemptions for countries like Poland starting from January 2021, arguing that this is a time for assistance, not taxation.

Addressing the pressing economic challenges posed by the pandemic, the Polish government is poised to inject over PLN 200 billion (approximately EUR 43 billion) into the economy. A significant portion of this financial aid is expected to be allocated towards the modernization of the country’s energy infrastructure, further highlighting the pivotal role of energy in economic recovery.

Meanwhile, the wind energy sector grapples with its own set of disruptions arising from supply chain delays and installation setbacks. Projects that secured auctions in 2018 and 2019 may struggle to meet their predetermined timelines. In response to these challenges, the Polish Wind Energy Association (PWEA) has put forth a proposal to amend existing legislation, advocating for an extension of delivery timelines by up to 12 months.

Undoubtedly, the short-term outlook for the energy sector is marked by uncertainty and turbulence. However, the long-term objectives and challenges facing the industry are expected to remain steadfast. Below, we present interviews with two prominent figures from the Polish Government, offering insights into the path forward. It’s important to note that these discussions were conducted prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, underscoring the rapidly evolving nature of the energy landscape in these unprecedented times.

You may also be interested in...