For Europe and for the world, 2023 will not be easy from an economic and energy point of view. The conflict in Ukraine has repercussions on the global economy, on delicate geopolitical balances that are now moving at a greater speed and unpredictably. According to leading expert on renewable energies Ermanno Traverso, founder and CEO of Energreen: «The recession is linked to a specific event rather than being ‘systemic’. I am obviously referring to the war in Ukraine. In these cases the traditional measures to solve the recession don’t work. For example, some experts believe that the probable increase in interest rates risks being harmful, because it would depress an economy that needs “oxygen” to recover» explains Traverso.
Are we facing a year of global recession?
The risk is there and, as far as I know, several international institutions are already dealing with this kind of scenario.
In addition to being reflected on bills, does expensive energy slow down and tend to block the entire production cycle?
Certainly. And it’s not just speculation. A general upward trend in prices was also observed during 2021. According to accredited simulations, the average price of energy is destined to increase steadily, regardless of the resolution of the conflict in Ukraine. This data is useful to realize that when we talk about an increase in bills we are talking about a structural problem, which cannot be tackled at a political level in an extemporaneous way, with a consequent series of emergency measures that can be more or less effective.
Then what would it take?
An ambitious intervention in favor of renewable energy, which aims at the production of at least10 gigawatts per year. This is the only way would it be possible to reduce costs in a stable way. Of course, such an investment requires vision and planning.
Do you see the ability of vision and the practical possibility of innovating in political subjects?
War drains a great deal of economic resources, resulting in a condition of recession: and recession has always been the enemy of innovation and technological research, which is what renewable energy would need today to establish itself definitively. Without considering that many countries necessarily returned to investing in hydrocarbons and coal.
What should be strengthened for renewables to take off and be able to drive a global recovery?
Today the limit of renewables is linked to their intermittence: depending on natural phenomena, clean energy is not always available and must therefore be accumulated in storage units. The more batteries capable of storing energy are developed, the faster renewable energies will spread.
It is no coincidence that the research sector to create ever more efficient storage units is in full swing. I expect great developments in this sense.
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