Earlier in the pandemic we suggested that in trying to find the positives in a global disaster, perhaps the surge in support and growth of renewables could be one such silver lining (previous blog). Now, as European lockdown measures are easing and we are adjusting to the new normal, has this really been the case?
There are a lot of pieces of evidence that point us toward a resounding “yes”.
Floating wind projects such as Windfloat Atlantic have been installed and Blue Gen Wind's Erebus project has secured seabed rights. The enthusiasm around this industry has realy been bolstered in 2020 and lots of development ongoing - see our insight here: Floating Wind
Scotwind leasing round was released in June 2020; this will result in many further offshore wind projects in Scotland in the coming decade.
Bombora’s mWave device has started to be assembled in south Wales and multiple Wave Energy Scotland projects are progressing to scale prototype demonstration.
SME have agreed the first floating tidal array in Nova Scotia, Nova's Shetland array continues to operate as does the Meygen site.
And many more...
However, the renewables industry was already trending in a positive direction prior to the pandemic. Is the positive vibe around renewable energy at the minute purely down to the context in which we find ourselves? In light of a serious recession, that no doubt will be felt across the world, there are multiple stories about the struggles in other industries (aerospace, tourism, cruising etc) and this has shown renewables in a more favourable light, as the success stories continue amid a recession.
Similarly, during the core lockdown period, people across the world started to value nature, the environment and their local surroundings as going outside for regular exercise was often all that was permitted. These two factors have put a spotlight on the renewable energy industry.
On balance, the perception that renewables as an industry is doing well, is absolutely correct (we are quite pleased to reach that conclusion!). The fact that the industry has sustained its momentum throughout this time points to the strength and growth of the industry. The increased media spotlight and public awareness can only assist this progression further.