Editorial

How Covid-19 is changing Europe’s power and renewables markets

In this 60-minute webinar, our experts come together to discuss how Covid-19 and the emerging global recession are affecting European power and renewables markets. Listen to the webinar to find out:

1. The short-term impact: How are European power demand and price being affected by lockdown measures?

National lockdowns have driven substantial cuts in power demand, increasing pressures on market balance and netload – against this backdrop, episodes of low and negative prices are becoming more frequent and widespread across the region. Several markets have seen material increases in renewable supply, which, in combination with low demand, further erodes gas’ share in the power mix. Join Dan Eager, principal analyst with Wood Mackenzie’s energy transition practice, as he analyses European supply and demand, and zooms in on Spain, the United Kingdom and Germany to understand the impact of different containment measures at different stages of the pandemic.

2. Medium-term expectations: How will the crisis and subsequent economic downturn impact markets and technologies?

The impact of lockdowns has been immediate and severe. Governments are beginning to ease lockdown rules, driving a modest uptick in economic activity. However, we expect restrictions to remain in place into the fourth quarter of 2020 in many countries, particularly in Asia and Europe – possibly even extending into 2021. As a consequence, we have downgraded our economic outlook to a severe recession; we’re forecasting a 4% contraction in the global economy in 2020. Economies under tight lockdowns, France, Italy and Spain, posted large contractions in output in Q1. US GDP also fell in Q1, but we are expecting far worse for Q2. With rocketing unemployment, incomes will be hit hard and the risk of defaults in highly indebted households increases.

The impact of lockdowns on power demand in 2020 is severe. The year-on-year change in power demand in European countries is as much as minus 15%. Europe-wide, we’re forecasting a cumulative loss of more than 150 Terawatt-hours (TWh) in 2020 compared to the year before. Listen to the webinar to learn more about how coronavirus has changed the outlook for European power supply and demand, price and supply chains through to 2030.

3. Long-term ramifications: Could progress towards Europe’s decarbonisation goals be derailed?

It’s increasingly apparent that Covid-19 will drive climate policy action linked to the economic rebuild. Governments, trade associations and companies throughout the continent have floated green new deal initiatives as a means to jumpstart economic recovery. In April, we saw climate leaders from 17 countries across Europe come together to sign a joint letter committing to post-Covid climate objectives. Listen to the webinar for a summary of Covid-19 climate-relation action in Europe as a whole, as well as in specific European markets such as Spain and Germany.

Meet the team

  • Tom Heggarty, principal analyst, power and renewables
  • Dan Eager, principal analyst, European power and renewables
  • Brian Gaylord, principal analyst, wind power
  • Rory McCarthy, principal analyst, global energy storage

Related content