With roughly 4.2 billion people around the world subject to some form of lockdown in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the International Energy Agency said it expects global energy demand to plunge this year in what the Paris-based agency called the biggest drop since World War II. Further, according to the latest short-term energy outlook from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), amid stay-at-home policies, social distancing orders and factory closures put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, renewables generation is set to outpace coal generation in 2020 as a result of shrinking electricity demand and lower natural gas prices. Is the pandemic an impetus for permanent change within the energy industry with the potential to accelerate the transition to renewables in our country and across the globe?

On this Business Casual segment, hosts Daniel Litwin and Tyler Kern look at the current state of the energy consumables arena and discuss whether the pandemic—which has been an unprecedented catalyst for changes within many industries—will be responsible for a large scale pivot toward more climate-friendly renewable energy sources. The hosts ask questions that dig deeper into whether the pandemic will be a true impetus for change:

Is it likely that fossil fuels will return to pre-pandemic levels even if demand goes back up as expected? If this is a permanent shift, what will it look like and how will traditional fossil fuel providers adjust to and adopt more sustainable resources for energy? Will younger generations more prone to eco-conscious choices help to accelerate the transition to renewable energy? Is renewable infrastructure ready for a spike in deployment?

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