How has Europe’s response to COVID-19 accelerated the energy transition?

Last month, Greenhouse collaborated with Wärtsilä to launch a new tool which aims to accelerate the global transition towards 100% renewable energy and understand the impact of COVID-19 on Europe’s energy mix.

The Energy Transition Lab is a new free-to-use data platform developed by Wärtsilä to help the industry, policy makers and the public understand European electricity markets and plan for a future with a significantly increased level of renewables.

COVID-19 has given us a glimpse into that future, with the global lockdown causing a decrease in energy demand and leading to a significant increase in renewable penetration. Across Europe we have seen renewables deliver almost half (47%) of our electricity generation – an increase of 9% compared to 2019, and a drop in coal generation by almost one third (32%) from 15 March to 17 April 2020.

Björn Ullbro, Vice President for Europe & Africa at Wärtsilä Energy Business, said:

“What we can see today is how our energy systems cope with much more renewable power – knowledge that will be invaluable to accelerate the energy transition. We are making this new platform freely available to support the energy industry to adapt and use the momentum this tragic crisis has created to deliver a better, cleaner energy system, faster.”

Strategic guidance
Greenhouse played a major role in the delivery of the platform and developed the media and social media strategy, before leading a targeted media relations campaign and creating an accompanying series of LinkedIn Pulse articles on the ongoing findings.

Global media attention
Greenhouse used insightful analysis from the Energy Transition Lab to launch the platform, revealing the striking impact that COVID-19 was having on European energy markets.

Since the initial launch, we have issued regular media bulletins and media briefings to further underpin Wartsila’s insight and analysis and build relationships for the company with key media.

Through the campaign we have delivered over 25 pieces of coverage to date, reaching over 200 million people with high impact reporting from outlets including the FT, Reuters Daily Telegraph, Forbes, Bloomberg Green and a host of trade outlets.

We have underpinned that coverage by developing a series of LinkedIn Pulse articles for thought leaders at the company to highlight their expertise and encourage traffic to the Energy Transition Lab website and associated webinars.

Impact
Prior to this campaign, Wärtsilä had a limited commentary profile in national and international media, however we have been able to use the Energy Transition Lab to develop a thought leading position with the world’s leading energy journalists, who are now actively using the tool and engaging with Wartsila for their industry leading insight.

The platform has quickly become a high value tool for journalists that will be used on an ongoing basis, enabling Wärtsilä to engage a global audience and shape the 100% renewable energy future that the company envisions.

An end to coal?
The focus now must shift to locking in this incredible change long-term to ensure we decarbonise the energy grid across the UK, Europe and globally for good.

The Guardian recently reported that the global coal industry will “never recover” from the COVID-19 pandemic, so the Energy Transition Lab could play a vital role in the transition from coal to renewable energy and ensure that we Build Back Better in the years to come.

Greenhouse PR works with organisations and leaders who are pioneering climate action. Whether it’s finance, food, fashion or farming, if you’ve got a great story and need our help to tell it, get in touch with the Greenhouse team on 0117 214 1250 or email info@greenhousepr.co.uk

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