Pop-up power: CAPEX free energy solutions in times of uncertainty
Have you seen pictures of Berlin, Paris or London lately? Or perhaps Bogotá, Boston or the Philippines? One thing they all have in common are ‘temporary’ bike lanes, which have suddenly appeared all across these cities. But it doesn’t stop with bike lanes. We’ve seen things like data centres and hospitals pop-up all over the world in recent months, just think of the 1000 bed hospital that was built in Wuhan within only eight days. Each one has something in common; they show how the COVID crisis, and the unprecedented containment measures it set off, has changed the bar on what was once thought possible, with changes, thought to require years, now happening overnight.
The energy industry is no exception to the sweeping impacts of the pandemic. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the global lockdown and subsequent dramatic slow-down in economic activity could lead to the biggest fall in energy demand in 70 years.1
It also sent the price of raw materials, and fossils fuels in particular, tumbling. Because of an excess of supply, oil prices even briefly went negative in April2. Coal also saw its largest decline since the end of the Second World War3. Demand, and with it, prices, have recovered since the lockdown lows, but the future remains uncertain.
In the short term further possible demand shocks because of potential second and third waves of COVID-19 infections loom. Even more critically, the long-term outlook remains uncertain. This present level of ambiguity is making it even harder to invest in energy infrastructure, despite a safe, secure, and affordable supply being in many ways more critical than ever. This is where ‘pop-up’ or temporary mobile and modular power could be a gamechanger.
Temporary power in action
At Aggreko we understand this uncertainty. It particularly makes it difficult for businesses to commit and invest capital in assets that may not be needed, be regulated or quite simply not be competitive in the future. Our promise is to help our clients react faster to a changing environment.