When Michael Liebreich founded New Energy Finance in 2004 – to provide research services and advice to the nascent but fastgrowing clean energy industry – oil price was far from being one of his main preoccupations. The price of crude was then around $28 a barrel, a level around which it had been trading for some years. ‘Call it naïve,’ says Liebreich, ‘but oil had been trading in the $20 per barrel range for so long that I never even considered what might happen in different oil price scenarios.’
Green energy test
Investment growth in clean energy plummeted from phenomenal rates of more than 50% a year in 2005-7 to just 5% in 2008. With credit hard to get hold of and oil prices languishing in the region of $40 dollar/barrel, what does the future hold for what was a booming alternative energy industry? Michael Liebreich – founder and CEO of New Energy Finance, clean energy analysts – is surprisingly bullish.