Last week, Michael Liebrich CEO of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, offered his perspective on the trajectory of clean energy. During his keynote speech, Liebrich highlighted forthcoming regional trends in environmentally friendly applications. Most interestingly from an industrial gas perspective, Liebrich highlighted the ever-decreasing cost of renewable energies such as photovoltaics.

Liebrich delivered the speech on 20th March at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Summit. Within his speech the CEO alluded to some very optimistic trends for new energy and the associated industries.

He mentioned a 75% decrease in the price of photovoltaics since 2008 and over 45% decline in the last year alone. Unsurprisingly perhaps, Liebrich also noted that the European net capacity for PV has almost doubled since 2010. Indeed, according to Bloomberg, compared to other clean energy sectors, the PV market has undergone the largest, and most sudden, surge – encouraging news for adjunct industries such as industrial gas.

The feed and tariff rate in Germany is now lower than retail electricity prices…

Michael Liebrich, CEO Bloomberg New Energy Finance

Liebrich paid particular attention to PV growth in European regions such as Germany and Italy. With regards to solar energy he noted, “the feed and tariff rate in Germany is now lower than retail electricity prices on average.”

But it’s not just restricted to Europe, according to Liebrich’s observations the cost of such renewable energy sources is expected to continue to decrease.

He added. “Denmark and Germany have very high electricity prices so solar makes sense, but then there are also sunny markets- Italy, Spain and Australia. And as we go forwards that experience curve will continue to work, companies like Foxconn, who manufacture Apple iPads, are all coming into solar… The pressure on cost is going to continue to go down.”

The number of proponents of solar power and users of PV are predicted to increase further by 2020. Indeed, Liebrich was confident that Japan, France, Brazil, Turkey, submarkets and parts of India would also turn towards PV.

In summary, solar power is likely to excel where, “there’s enough sun and the electricity prices are high enough to make it make sense.”

Whilst addressing delegates, Liebrich also noted an increasing disparity between growth in electricity generation from natural gas and renewable energy sources. He reported 2.5% and 20% growth between 2010 and 2011 for each sector respectively. With such a difference in expansion, it’s nothing but encouraging news for adjunct sectors such as the industrial gas market.