Today, Mr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), delivered a keynote speech titled the “Post-covid Recovery and Clean Energy Transition” to the Vienna Energy Club.
Comparing the shock of covid-19 to that of the second Word War, Mr. Birol expects global energy use in 2020 to decline seven times the size of the decline after the last big financial crisis. The impact of the crisis is further magnified by an 18% decrease in energy sector investment. A positive side of this crisis is that the use of renewables is increasing and the entire decrease is on account of fossil energy sources. This offers an opportunity for a climate friendly recovery with proper support measures.
The Club was established upon the initiative of the Energy Community Secretariat in 2009 and comprises, apart from the Energy Community, also the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), IIASA, OPEC, OFID, OSCE, REEEP, SEforALL, UNIDO and Austrian authorities. Today’s high level part of the meeting, joined also by Director Kopač, was greeted by Mr. Rafael Grossi, IAEA Director General as the IAEA currently holds the chair.
The Club meets twice a year. The next meeting, to be chaired by IIASA, is scheduled in spring 2021.