An evaluation of the causal effect between air pollution and renewable electricity production in Sweden: Accounting for the effects of COVID-19

Int J Energy Res. 2021 Jun 29:10.1002/er.6978. doi: 10.1002/er.6978. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has made a significant disruption in the renewable industry, and the effects will last longer. In this context, understanding how and which specific renewable power got affected due to this crisis is of crucial importance. This study examines the nexus between COVID-19 and Sweden’s renewable electricity production from three sources of energy such as nuclear, solar, and wind, where the data ranges from January 1, 2019, to February 17, 2021. Since this study compares the period before and during the pandemic event, the study uses Air Quality Index as a measure of COVID-19 induced event and thus study the linkage between air quality and electricity production from three types of renewable energy. To analyse the above issue, several advanced techniques such as Wavelet Power Spectrum, Wavelet Coherence, Partial and Multiple Wavelet Coherence have been applied. The findings from the Wavelet Coherence approach demonstrate that COVID-19 has disrupted the linkage between wind energy generation and air quality, while the disruption in the case of solar and nuclear electricity generation has been minimal. Moreover, solar energy generation and air pollution both negatively affect each other, implying the need to generate solar power as well as reduce the level of air pollution in Sweden. In light of the above findings, the study discusses possible policy actions the country can take to fulfil its renewable development goals.

PMID:34518726 | PMC:PMC8426855 | DOI:10.1002/er.6978

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