Sustaining COVID-19 pandemic lockdown era air pollution impact through utilization of more renewable energy resources

Elsevier, Heliyon, Volume 7, July 2021
Rita E., Chizoo E., Cyril U.S.
The lock down engendered by COVID-19 pandemic has impacted positively on the environment through reduction of the emissions of green house gases, CO2, CO and other pollutants into the atmosphere below the pre-COVID-19 levels. There are fears that the gains made in the environment during COVID-19 may be frittered away as nations around the world make serious efforts to boost the COVID-19 recessed economy through massive investments in the sectors of the economy that are not environmentally friendly. This paper emphasizes on the essence of maintaining the COVID-19 pandemic era environmental impact levels in post COVID-19 era without retarding the efforts towards economic recovery. World health organization (WHO) data from six regions between April and August 2020 was evaluated. Emission levels during the COVID-19 lockdown were reviewed. The global renewable energy potentials were ascertained. The paper suggests that investment in renewable energy resources for various countries’ energy needs will help sustain the green and clean environment created by the COVID-19 lockdown even after COVID-19 era lockdown. Also, building large scale and distributed energy storage infrastructure and application of artificial intelligence would ensure security of energy supply and handle unstable nature of solar and wind energy. The COVID-19 lockdown significantly reduced air pollution. The application of biofuels to generate energy and power was found to significantly reduce air pollutant emissions similar to COVID-19 lockdown.