Pandemic-induced energy transition progress temporary – McKinsey
Clean Energy Wire
While the German energy transition made considerable progress in 2020, this could be short-lived as it was largely due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, consultancy McKinsey found in its bi-annual Energiewende Index which tracks the progress of the German energy transition. “All in all, the coronavirus effects have not initiated a sustainable trend reversal,” said McKinsey senior partner Thomas Vahlenkamp. “On the contrary, there are many indications that the record results from 2020, which were positive for the energy transition, will be a thing of the past once the economy picks up again after the end of the protective measures.”
McKinsey also published a map with a regional overview of green hydrogen needs in Germany by 2050 – an energy source it says will be key to the energy transition. The hydrogen map shows the densely populated industrial region of Rhine-Ruhr as the largest potential cluster, with around 3.5 million tonnes needed. Steel and ammonia production, as well as power generation and building heating, are predicted to be the most important drivers of demand.
The coronavirus outbreak has led to an unprecedented drop in economic activity in many countries around the world, leading to an annual drop in global greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 not seen since WWII. However, emissions are set to rebound as the economy recovers.