National economies recover faster from shocks when countries are powered by renewables, according to new research with profound implications for global energy policy.
Researchers from Trinity College Dublin looked for patterns in data from 133 systemic economic crises that affected 98 countries over a 40-year period. While their analyzes show that countries that rely on a broader range of energy sources experience longer recovery times, the best predictor of economic recovery was the extent to which a country relied on renewable energy.
Underlining the significance of the finding is the fact that while the data came from a widely diverse group of societies and their economies, the extent of dependence on renewable energy consistently accounts for a large proportion of the variance in the time of economic recovery.
Ireland (and the 2008 economic crash) was among the countries included in the combined analysis. Currently, Irish targets for integrating renewables into the energy supply chain include a target to produce 80% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030.
As such, this work provides strong support for a stronger national focus on the transition to greater reliance on renewable energy.
Ian Donohue, Professor of Environmental Sciences and Chair of Trinity College of Natural Sciences, is the lead author of the research, which was published in environmental economics. He said: “Our findings highlight the importance of the intrinsic link between the natural resources provided by ecosystems and the stability of the economies that depend on them. Ultimately, these findings indicate the need for a fundamental reassessment of national and international energy policy, and not just for our environment, But also to enhance the stability – and sustainability – of our economies.”
Professor Robert Costanza, Professor of Environmental Economics at University College London’s Institute of Global Prosperity, and co-author of the study, said, “Although the mechanisms underlying our findings are unclear, one possible explanation is that renewables accelerate recovery because they are domestically produced and not It is subject to the high volatility in availability and prices associated with fossil fuels.”
Focusing on the situation in Ireland, Professor Donohue said, “This work provides another compelling reason to redouble our efforts to focus on renewables such as onshore and offshore wind. Doing so will add a third ‘win’ to what was already a win-win scenario, as adoption Bigger on renewable energy will reduce our carbon emissions, help protect precious biodiversity, and now, it seems, also provide a more resilient economy.”
Ian Donohue et al., Accelerated Economic Recovery in Countries Powered by Renewable Energy, environmental economics (2023). DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2023.107916
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