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The economic setback from COVID-19 reset the baseline for power sector emissions by about 2.5 years, according to a new report from BloombergNEF.
“One very small silver lining, maybe coronavirus buys us a couple of extra years to reduce emissions,” Seb Henbest, BNEF chief economist and lead author of the New Energy Outlook, said during a webinar sponsored by the Center for Strategic & International Studies. “Even as we return to growth … we never go back to the levels of emissions that we had before,” according to the report’s modeling based on the costs and advancements in available technology.
BNEF sees a $14 trillion global investment in distribution and transmission through 2050 in an economic transition scenario, a model that does not take into account long-term commitments and policies for decarbonization. As part of that scenario, BNEF sees a total investment of $15 trillion for power generation, including an increasing amount in energy storage technology.