Speed and surprises: Decline and recovery of global electricity use in COVID’s first seven months

An empty railway station in Osaka, Japan, in 2020. The unprecedented plunge in electricity use around the world at the beginning of the global pandemic was tied to shut-down policies and other factors. Surprisingly, the recovery to pre-COVID levels was quite fast and not linked to those same factors. Credit: Ryutaro Tsukata

Global electricity consumption plummeted an unprecedented amount during the first six weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic. Just six months later it had recovered fully. Moreover, factors that were strongly associated with initial declines in electricity use were not tightly linked to its rebound.

That’s what a team of Stanford …

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