The writer is the former prime minister of Australia

Covid-19 has revealed many truths about the transition to low-carbon energy. First, if we can put our collective minds to a problem as complex as vaccine development, we can do the same to address climate change. As Bill Gates said last month, solving climate change would be “the most amazing thing humanity has ever done”.

Second, wide fluctuations in energy supply and demand due to lockdowns have shown that we cannot rely only on increasing shares of variable renewables, such as wind and solar, to provide power when it is urgently needed. This summer saw rolling blackouts in California when a lack of flexible generation meant excess demand couldn’t be met — although officials insisted that

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