The oil sector took the hardest knock from decreasing energy demand due to the COVID-19 outbreak, while the renewable energy sector continues its rapid growth, Fatih Birol, the International Energy Agency (IEA) executive director, said on Monday.
"The decrease in energy demand in 2020 is seven times more than the decrease following the financial crises in 2008 and 2009,” Birol said at a webinar organized by Sabanci University’s Istanbul International Center for Energy and Climate (IICEC) to present the “Turkey Energy Outlook” report.
Birol said natural gas and coal sector had also been in a serious gridlock but only renewables sector managed to resist to the global decline in energy demand.
“Especially solar [energy sector] is rapidly growing all around the world. Solar [power plants] account for 50% of all power plants installed worldwide in 2020,” he said, lauding solar energy as “the new king of the electricity sector.”
“Investments in energy around the world have declined unprecedentedly,” Birol said and added that energy investments declined 18% worldwide.
He said businesses are slashing investments and cutting jobs to be able to avoid bankruptcy. “There is a massive wave of layoffs around the world. Currently, almost 4 million workers have lost their jobs in energy sector.”
Amid concerning changes in global energy dynamics, the rise of electricity use in Turkey compared to pre-COVID levels is an indicator of an economic rebound in the country's economy, Birol said.
Guler Sabanci, the founding chairperson of the Board of Trustees of Sabanci University, also highlighted the rising share of investments in Turkey by private sector and foreign investors.
She stressed the significance of IICEC’s report as “it constitutes as a pioneer and exemplary study in country’s energy sector."
By Sibel Morrow