Reproduced from IEA; Chart: Axios Visuals

The coronavirus pandemic is slowing growth of wind and solar electricity projects, but the renewables sector is "more resilient than other fuels" and slated to bounce back quickly, the International Energy Agency said.

Why it matters: It's on track to be the first year-over-year decline in 20 years, IEA said in a report that offers their downward revision in expected 2020–2021 capacity growth.

It's something of a glass half-full for people fearful that the crisis will hinder efforts to fight climate change.

  • IEA sees growth resuming next year after an expected 13% drop in 2020, but the forecast for additions over the two years combined has taken a hit.
  • And decarbonization of energy systems needs to speed up greatly to meet emissions cuts consistent with the Paris climate deal.

Driving the news: "The decline reflects delays in construction activity due to supply chain disruption, lockdown measures and social-distancing guidelines, and emerging financing challenges," the report states.

One level deeper: Solar photovoltaics and wind are expected to provide the vast majority of global capacity additions this year, but their growth is forecast to be respectively 18% and 12% lower than last year.

  • Still, IEA anticipates that utility-scale projects will rebound because most of them in the pipeline are already financed and under construction.
  • Rooftop solar, however, will see slower recovery as households and small businesses review investments, IEA said.

Of note: IEA actually sees renewable power generation growing a bit this year despite pandemic-related declines in overall power demand.

  • Renewables are the only fuel source with a forecasted demand increase in 2020. The report notes renewables' "low operating costs and priority access to the grid in many markets."

Go deeper: Clean energy and climate change unlikely to lead American recovery

Go deeper

House Democrats to investigate scientist leading "Operation Warp Speed"

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) on July 31. Photo: Erin Scott/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

House Democrats on the committee charged with overseeing the federal government's response to the coronavirus announced an investigation Thursday into "Operation Warp Speed," the Trump administration's efforts to accelerate the development and distribution of a vaccine.

Why it matters: In an effort to quickly distribute a vaccine, the Trump administration has bought initial batches from a handful of pharmaceutical companies before knowing whether they are safe and effective, Axios' Bob Herman reports.

Fauci's guidance on pre-vaccine coronavirus treatments

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Antibody drugs and various medicine cocktails against the coronavirus are progressing and may provide some relief before vaccines.

The big picture: Everyone wants to know how and when they can return to "normal" life, as vaccines are not expected to be ready for most Americans for at least a year. Two therapies are known to be helpful, and more could be announced by late September, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci tells Axios.

6 hours ago - Health

The kids who are most at risk from the coronavirus

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The coronavirus isn't as deadly for children as it is for adults, but kids still get it and can still get seriously sick from it. The risk is higher for Black and Hispanic children.

Why it matters: In communities with high caseloads, cases among children could explode as schools reopen. And kids in the communities already hit hardest by the pandemic are the most at risk.