FT Digital Dialogues - Energy Transformation: Driving a Green Recovery

In the wake of the pandemic, policymakers, investors and business leaders are faced with the dual challenge of reviving economies and meeting long-term climate goals. There are a rising number of calls for green policies to avoid carbon-intensive spending as governments prepare stimulus packages aimed at averting a prolonged recession. Efforts to fight climate change are at the heart of the European Commission’s recently announced recovery plan. Increasingly, the establishment of resilient, sustainable energy systems are being recognised as a precondition to a stable long-term recovery, economic growth and a climate-safe future.

Over the past decade, consistent cost declines in renewables have made them competitive with the cheapest fossil fuels for power generation. In fact, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency’s (IRENA) latest cost analysis, up to 1 200 gigawatts (GW) of existing coal capacity could cost more to operate than the cost of new utility-scale solar PV. At this critical juncture, what role should renewables play in the economic recovery, and what stimulus policies and government action will help the energy transition?

The Financial Times is hosting this live interactive webinar to dive deep into the policy recommendations, strategies and investment needed to achieve a sustainable economic recovery. Francesco La Camera, Director-General of the global authority on the energy transformation, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), will present the organisation’s new report The Post-COVID Recovery: An agenda for resilience, development and equality and will be interviewed by Leslie Hook, Environment and Clean Energy Correspondent, Financial Times.

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Running order (timings BST)

  • 11:00 - Keynote presentation: Francesco La Camera, Director General, IRENA
  • 11:15 - Fireside chat with Leslie Hook, Environment and Clean Energy Correspondent, Financial Times
  • 11:35 - Audience Q&A
  • 11:50 - Close

Topics for discussion

  • What challenges are facing the renewables sector due to the coronavirus crisis?
  • What is the economic rationale for supporting green stimulus packages and accelerating the energy transition in the post-pandemic recovery?
  • To what extent can green policies boost employment – and do they risk jeopardising jobs in the fossil fuel sector?
  • Which types of renewable energy are seeing the biggest price falls, and why?
  • What is causing the decline in the cost of renewables? Can we expect the trend to continue? How has investment value changed?
  • How have financing costs altered? Are there concerns that increased financing costs will drive up clean energy costs overall?