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Corona research

Global low-carbon energy transition in the post-COVID-19 era
Posted on:24 November 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant challenges for energy transition. Concerns about the overwhelming emphasis on economic recovery at the cost of energy transition progress have been raised worldwide. More voices are calling for “green” recovery scheme, which recovers the economy while not compromising on the environment. However, limited academic attention has been paid to comprehensively investigating the implications of COVID-19 for global energy transition. This study thus provides a comprehensive analysis of the dynamics between energy transition and COVID-19 around the world and proposes a low-carbon energy transition roadmap in the post-pandemic era. Using energy data from the International Energy Agency (IEA), we first summarized and reviewed the progress of energy transition prior to COVID-19. Building on prior progress, we identified the challenges for energy transition during the pandemic from the perspectives of government support, fossil fuel divestment, renewable energy production capacity, global supply chain, and energy poverty. However, the pandemic also generates opportunities for global energy transition. We hence also identified potential opportunities for energy transition presented by the pandemic from the perspectives of price competitiveness, policy implementation efficiency, and renewable energy strengths. We further provided an in-depth discussion on the impact of current worldwide economic recovery stimulus on energy transition. Based on the identified challenges and opportunities, we proposed the post-pandemic energy transition roadmap in terms of broadening green financing instruments, strengthening international cooperation, and enhancing green recovery plans. Our study sheds light on a global low-carbon energy transition framework and has practical implications for green recovery schemes in post-pandemic times.

Countermeasures against economic crisis from COVID-19 pandemic in China: An analysis of effectiveness and trade-offs
Posted on:14 October 2021

The effectiveness of different countermeasures to economic crisis from the public health emergency is still inadequately understood. We establish an illustrative scenario, specifying the shocks of COVID-19 pandemic and countermeasures applying a general equilibrium model to analyze the effectiveness of countermeasures with a particular focus on trade-offs in the impacts of monetary and fiscal policies. We find that both monetary and fiscal countermeasures could effectively mitigate the economic damages to GDP and employment. However, they would also produce adverse side-effects such as an increase in consumer price by 1.05% and 0.57%, respectively, and a decline in exports by 2.61% and 1.05%, respectively. Monetary policies would exacerbate the damages to external demand by supply-side shocks of the pandemic, but they are more suitable for mitigating demand-side shocks. While fiscal policies would benefit nearly all producing sectors, monetary policies would mainly affect export-oriented manufacturing sectors negatively.

Implications of COVID-19 lockdowns on surface passenger mobility and related CO2 emission changes in Europe
Posted on:14 July 2021

The coronavirus pandemic has severely affected our daily lives, with direct consequences on passenger transport. This in turn has strongly impacted the energy demand of the transport sector and associated CO2 emissions. We analyse near real-time passenger mobility and related emission trends in Europe between 21 January and 21 September 2020. We compiled a dataset of country-, sector- and lockdown- specific values, representing daily activity changes in private, public, and active passenger transport. In the aggregate, surface passenger transport emissions fell by 11.2% corresponding to 40.3 MtCO2 in Europe. This decline was predominantly due to the reduction of private passenger transport in five European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK). During the first lockdown in April 2020, CO2 emissions from surface passenger transport declined by 50% in Europe, resulting in a 7.1% reduction in total CO2 emissions. After April 2020, private passenger travel recovered rapidly, while public passenger flows remained low. Solely prompted by the private sector, a rebound in total emissions and surface passenger transport emissions of 1.5% and 10.7%, respectively, was estimated at the end of the study period. The resulting situation of increased private and decreased public passenger transport is in contradiction to major climate goals, and without reversing these trends, emission reductions, as stated in the European Green Deal are unlikely to be achieved. Our study provides an analysis based on a detailed and timely set of data of surface passenger transport and points to options to grasp the momentum for innovative changes in passenger mobility.