Oil companies have arguably felt the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic worse than any other industry in the world. Several companies that are considered to be big names in the oil sector are reporting substantial drops in earnings in their most recent quarterly results as the pandemic has caused a collapse in demand.
With that, renewable energy companies, like Tesla and others, are beginning to feel the positive effects of oil becoming less desirable by consumers. The New York Times recently reported that renewable energy sources would generate a record of 20.7% electricity in the U.S., up 2.7% from 2019’s share.
As renewable energy use increases, other forms of energy will inevitably fall, and oil-focused companies are forced to adapt to the consumer’s demand for clean sources of power.
BP recently announced that it would slash oil production by 40% and turn its focus to sustainable forms of energy for the future. The company said that it would increase its low carbon investments by ten-fold to $5 billion by 2030. The London-based energy company currently holds a zero-emissions promise by 2050, CNN said.
“This coming decade is critical for the world in the fight against climate change, and to drive the necessary change in global energy systems will require action from everyone,” a company statement from BP said.
Meanwhile, Exxon and Chevron both took major hits during the second quarter. Exxon announced that several of its expansion projects would be delayed after it failed to generate any positive cash flow during Q2, Bloomberg reported.
Exxon’s Q2 2020 Earnings Report indicates that the company’s total net income loss was -$1.080 billion.
Chevron, on the other hand, announced that it would have multibillion-dollar writedowns on its access for the second time in the last 12 months. It will also cut the equivalent of 5% of its total output worldwide during Q3, and delay plans to ramp up production from its Permian Basin, a United States oil field located in Western Texas and Southeastern New Mexico.
What does all of this mean for renewables?
As the world continues to transition away from carbon-emitting fuel sources and moves toward Earth-friendly forms of power, the renewable energy sector will see growth in its consumer base and profitability. COVID-19 has done significant damage to many corporations and industries as a whole. For example, automotive sales as a whole have declined with many automakers across the world, reporting substantial drops in purchases.
Research firm IHS Markit predicts that car sales are expected to decline by at least 15.3% in the U.S. in 2020. However, sustainable transportation companies are seeing growth. Tesla is one example of that.
Tesla has beaten Wall Street’s estimates in both Q1 and Q2. The company has also managed to turn a profit in both quarters in 2020 as well. The increasingly noticeable shift in energy interest is turning toward sustainable and eco-friendly sources, which is a win for both the consumer and the Earth.
A study from Deloitte stated that in April 2019, renewable energy outpaced coal by providing 23% of U.S. power generation. Coal only provided 20% of the share. Also, renewable energy consumption by residential consumers increased by 6%, while commercial customers increased their usage by 5%.
The simple fact is, renewable energy is the future of human civilization. Fossil fuels and environmentally damaging sources of energy will continue to damage the Earth, pushing the world into the depths of climate hell, while rich oil companies continue to turn unruly profits.
But these companies are feeling the effects of a decrease in demand. The reductions seem to be acting as a wake-up call that indicates their focuses must shift. Their most recent Earnings results are indicative of a shift in what kind of energy people are more interested in, and it seems that renewables are going to be the preference for consumers moving forward.