Chairman of the Advisory Board for Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Michael Liebreich, regularly presents his top 10 predictions for the oncoming year in clean energy — and he’s back again, but instead of comparisons to Russian imagery, Liebreich has gone with something a little more … feisty.
In the distance a herd of Diplodocoals, the biggest of the dinosaurs, is grazing. Slow-moving and with tiny brains, they can chew their way through almost any environment in which they find themselves. As they have done so, they have found themselves in competition with the aggressive Gasontosaurus, and they seem to be losing. The future isn’t looking great for Diplodocoal but they have been around for a long time and are not disappearing soon.
The analogy is humorous — “Suddenly, a fight breaks out! A pack of Velocifrackers has been chasing an adult male Tyrannosaurus Saudi” — and oddly accurate. The dominant world in which the dinosaurs are believed to have ruled is relatively analogous with today’s energy sector, and according to Liebreich, “everyone is transfixed by the big fight going on in the oil industry between conventional and unconventional production, OPEN vs non-OPEC, Saudi Arabia versus the frackers.”
Meanwhile, beneath the notice of the “dinosaur stories” the “mammal stories” are continuing — a bounce-back in clean energy investment, reaching $310 billion in 2014 after two years of decline; EON concentrating on its renewable and consumer-facing activities; Google’s $3.2 billion acquisition of Nest as representative of the industry as a whole; and many more stories.
At which point we reach 2015, and Michael Liebreich’s predictions for the year ahead — sadly, however, his foresight does not see a rosy outlook for the year ahead.
The full post by Liebreich is available to read here, but here are his Top 10, and a few highlights:
- Fossil prices remain under pressure
- Clean energy investment struggles to match 2014
- It’s still all about the costs, stupid
- Paris COP21: More light show than meteorite
- Electric vehicles touch the breaks
- Solar solid with 55 GW
- High winds deliver nearly 60 GW
- Lots of sizzle, a little steak in connected homes and power storage
- Coal gets burnt
- No sleep for M&A bankers
With coal under such pressure, Liebreich envisions another tough year “for the black stuff,” and though it won’t be the end, a number of external pressures are going to make life difficult.
On the other side of the street, wind energy should continue to grow, surpassing 2014’s record numbers (51 GW) and nearing 60 GW. Nearly 55 GW of that is set to be installed onshore, with more than 3 GW offshore. Next door, Liebreich expects to see solar add more than 55 GW of capacity in 2015 — and as much as 60 GW “if the sector gathers steam during the year as we think it might.”
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