Bloomberg’s Michael Liebreich Praises Renewable Energy Industry

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Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Chairman of the Advisory Board, Michael Liebreich, has mostly praised renewable energy in his year-end review.

At the beginning of each year, Michael Liebreich publishes a list of his top 10 predictions and forecasts for the coming years’ renewable energy industry performance. Closing out the year, Liebreich reviews his predictions and rates how he felt he did. In 2015, Liebreich made the following ten predictionsMichael Liebreich-1

  1. Fossil prices remain under pressure
  2. Clean energy investment struggles to match 2014
  3. It’s still all about the costs, stupid
  4. Paris COP21: More light show than meteorite
  5. Electric vehicles touch the breaks
  6. Solar solid with 55 GW
  7. High winds deliver nearly 60 GW
  8. Lots of sizzle, a little steak in connected homes and power storage
  9. Coal gets burnt
  10. No sleep for M&A bankers

2015 was an interesting year for renewable energy, “off the front pages for most” of the year, until, “right at the end of the year … Climate negotiators in Paris delivered a deal beyond the outside edge of what most commentators had considered achievable.” Liebreich adds that “the outcome of this year’s COP negotiations completely wrong-footed me, as well as most other analysts.” Liebreich isn’t entirely sold on the agreement — noting in his companion piece, We’ll Always Have Paris that “the Paris Agreement gives plenty of opportunity for cynicism, among both sceptics and climate hard-liners.”

After the year is done, Michael Liebreich’s scores for 2015 are pretty on the money for most of his predictions.

  1. Fossil prices remain under pressure — 9/10
  2. Clean energy investment struggles to match 2014 — 9/10
  3. It’s still all about the costs, stupid — 10/10
  4. Paris COP21: More light show than meteorite — 6/10
  5. Electric vehicles touch the breaks — 5/10
  6. Solar solid with 55 GW — 8/10
  7. High winds deliver nearly 60 GW — 9/10
  8. Lots of sizzle, a little steak in connected homes and power storage — 6/10
  9. Coal gets burnt — 9/10
  10. No sleep for M&A bankers — 6/10

Very few surprises came out of a year which itself was relatively volatile: offshore wind financing held its strength from 2014 and through 2015; solar capacity installations for 2015 are almost bang-on BNEF’s original predictions, but Liebreich is loathing heding their bets; Paris “outstripped my admittedly low expectations,” Liebreich said of the longed-for Paris meteorite; and investment and cost reductions have proceeded as expected, with both the wind and solar industry’s benefiting from a strong 2015.

Maybe the most impressive feature of 2015 was the sheer wealth of clean power delivered throughout the year.

“2015 was also characterised by stunning progress on the ground, in clean power delivery,” agreed Liebreich.

“In the UK, just as the government was announcing its new dash for gas, DECC published figures showing renewables had delivered 24 percent of the country’s electricity in the first two quarters, up from just 4 percent in 2004, and all for the price of half a cup of cappuccino per household per week on family bills. Germany is now at 35 percent renewable electricity. In the US, more coal plants closed in 2015 than in any previous year, more solar capacity was installed, and power sector emissions fell to their lowest levels since 1993.”

Michael Liebreich’s full post, Energy in 2015 — What We Got Right, and What We Got Wrong, is worth the read to see where the renewable energy industry sits at the end of such an interesting year. Liebreich’s companion piece, We’ll Always Have Paris, which delves further into the events of the COP21 Paris negotiations is also worthy of attention.


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Joshua S Hill

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (.co.uk), and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at about.me for more.

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