3 Ways Remote Work Is Accelerating the Transition to Renewable Energy
This week marks an important milestone we’ve all been waiting for: the arrival of the first Covid-19 vaccines. Though we have a long way to go until our communities are fully vaccinated, these promising first steps offer an opportunity to look ahead to a post-pandemic future. As we enter 2021, one thing is certain – we won’t be returning to the same customs and routines as before. Over the past year, there were (and still are) lessons to be learned. One, in particular, is rise of remote work and growth of the “stay-at-home economy.”
As more industries and businesses have adopted and refined remote work practices, it has become evident that this will be a lasting change. While the impact of remote work is far-reaching, its effects on the energy economy are undeniable. There are a number of reasons that this is accelerating the transition to renewable energy.
What is the stay-at-home economy?
Whether spurred by government-instituted lockdowns or private safety concerns, people often found themselves shifting their lives towards staying home as more businesses closed their doors throughout the year. Technology rapidly adapted to allow us to still see our families, holiday shop, order groceries, and perhaps most importantly—work from home.
By now, entire industries have made significant and necessary investments in this economic infrastructure via technology, tools, procedures and personnel. All have helped these changes become more accessible, accepted and commonplace. This is the “stay-at-home” economy.
Wide-scale adoption of remote work has accelerated transitions in our economy that may have taken years otherwise.
So, where does renewable energy fit in this new paradigm?
Renewables are now the most affordable source of energy.
After a year of unprecedented uncertainty, businesses are safely restarting and retooling their operations during a period of economic transition. The pandemic has driven most to become leaner and more nimble in the process.
As they adapt, many are turning to what is now the world’s cheapest source of energy: solar. Offering a better ROI than traditional utilities and greater control over self-consumption and demand, solar is empowering businesses by reducing costs, increasing efficiencies and providing long-term stability.
Remote work has impacted energy demand.
The shift to a nation that has spent the past year working from home drastically altered global energy demand. The IEA reports that countries in lockdown experienced declines up to 25% in energy demand per week. Even regions in partial lockdown experienced an average of 18% decline.
Road transport in regions with lockdowns dropped as well. Mobility, at a whopping 57% of global oil demand, declined at a rapid rate in 2020 due to these shifts in behavior.
The pace of this decline has been driven by the drastic change in energy demand and consumption that accompanied large scale shifts in the workplace. A significant number of workers have traded long commutes to the office for mere steps to the home office.
With more homeowners spending more time at home, their power needs increase. As a result, many are looking to solar and energy efficiency improvements for increased independence and control over their electricity bills and power consumption.
Solar is a great investment
The stay-at-home economy has driven demand and installation of renewable energy technologies to all-time highs. This continues to accelerate the momentum behind solar energy – making it a keystone to the new economic trends, recovery plans and stimulus packages across the world.
For businesses, homeowners, and investors alike solar has become a safe-haven investment opportunity with predictable and consistent returns. Government incentives, attractive financing options, and record setting cost-to-efficiency ratios make it easy for anyone to find options that work for their needs.
Prior to the pandemic, solar and renewable energy was a fast-growing sector of our economy with great promise. Now, though, clean energy is primed to take center stage in a revitalized economic landscape.
See how solar could benefit your home or business!