solar storage and finance

Conference Brief – Solar & Storage Finance

Renewable energy finance has many different kinds of participants, as revealed recently at the Solar & Storage Finance conference hosted in NYC.  .   Listening to the live actors from the financial side of the renewable power industry moved the issues off the page, to a more concrete experience of their specific concerns, including the extent to which their distinct missions were siloed, how they are competitive, and how they synergize. The presentations were organized to highlight these differences.  Several panel discussions were set back-to-back the contrast between lenders vs tax equity investors, both in terms of their goals, but also...

Solar & Storage Finance Conference Notes

I attended the Solar & Storage Finance conference hosted in NYC in late October 2018.  Presenters included a mix of capital providers & asset managers, private non-profit entities & public agencies, legal, accounting & consulting firms, intermediaries, firms providing risk analysis, ratings & mitigation, & various vendors of energy storage and IT-related services.  The tone of the discussions was noteworthy for its near total absence of ideological comments about environmental urgency.   Rather, it was a meeting of finance technicians and technocrats focused on the nuts & bolts of accomplishing those ends, with the merits and relevance of mission assumed. The...
Nemaska's Whabouchi site

Nemaska: A Lithium Bargain

Nemaska Lithium (NMKEF:  OTC/PK, NMX:  TO) is a newcomer to the lithium industry.  The company recently came to the market with battery-grade lithium from spodumene rock carved out of its Whabouchi mine in northern Quebec, Canada and converted in a proprietary electrochemical process to battery-grade lithium material at an in-house facility in Shawinigan to the south.  The company filled its first orders in Summer 2018. The company expected to produce over 200,000 metric tons of lithium-bearing spodumene concentrate from its Whabouchi mine with an average 6.25% lithium oxide content.  The mine is expected to remain productive for over three decades at that extraction rate.  The processing plant in...
Plan for Nemaska's electrochemical lithium mining project

Nemaska Sprints to Early Lead In Lithium Mining Race

Thank Elon Musk with his Tesla (TSLA) gigafactory for sparking a global obsession with lithium-ion batteries and the materials need to turn them out.  Claimed by Musk to be the largest building in the world, the factory was planned to reach capacity in stages.  By the time the factory is fully completed in 2020, production capacity is expected to be 150 gigawatt hours of battery packs. Ever since construction of Musk’s gigafactory began in 2014, investors around the world have been fretting over the adequacy of lithium supplies in particular.  The gigafactory concept appeared to trigger a whole slew of ‘me too’ factories...
Hydrogen

Hydrogenics: Will Hydrogen Skeptics Be Blown Away?

The hydrogen technology developer Hydrogenics Corporation (HYGS: Nasdaq) is taking on wind energy.  The company’s fuel cell power systems for stand-by and site power sources, hydrogen generators for industrial situations, and energy storage and fuel solutions for fleet owners. Hydrogen has gained in popularity because it is a zero-emission fuel source when burned with oxygen.  The energy efficiency of hydrogen as a transportation fuel is also enticing.  An electric motor powered by hydrogen fuel cell is two to three times more efficient than an internal combustion engine running on gasoline. Hydrogen is not without its critics.  One of the criticisms is that hydrogen is not entirely a carbon-neutral...
BMW i3 uses batteries with silicon in the anode

The Race For Silicon Anodes

Graphite is the most widely used material for battery anodes.  The anode is the positively charged electron collector in a battery.  It collects and accelerates the electronics emitted by the battery’s cathode.  Graphite gets the anode job because it is has excellent electric conductivity and resists heat and corrosion.  Plus it is light weight, soft and malleable. As satisfied as manufacturers might be with graphite anodes, none would balk at an alternative material that boosts battery performance or reduces cost.  Scientists believe battery capacity can be increased as much as ten times by using silicon for anodes.  It requires six atoms of carbon to bind one...
Biogas as a source of hydrogen

There’s Hydrogen In That There Biogas

I don’t suppose that anyone actually dreams of hydrogen, but in the bio-economy there just isn’t quite enough of it and we read about it and sometimes think about it so much that we might as well be dreaming about it. For those newer to the field, one of the problems of using biomass to make a fuel is that a carbohydrate contains around 53% oxygen by weight and needs about 16% more hydrogen that it contains to make a hydrocarbon fuel. That’s one of the reasons that biofuels are often esters (such as biodiesel) or alcohols (such as ethanol),...

List of Electricity Storage Stocks

Electricity storage stocks are publicly traded companies whose business involves the storage of electricity.  They include battery stocks and hydrogen stocks (see links), while companies involved in other storage technologies such as pumped hydro energy storage, Compressed Air Energy Storage, capacitors, flywheels, and thermal storage are listed here. Dais Analytic Corp. (DLYT) Dresser-Rand Group (DRC) Graftech International (GTI) Highpower International (HPJ) Kemet Corp. (KEM) Maxwell Technologies Inc (MXWL) If you know of any energy storage stock that is not listed here and should be, please let us know by leaving a comment. Also for stocks in the list that you think should be removed.
Hydrogen

List of Hydrogen Stocks

Hydrogen stocks are publicly traded companies whose business involves the use of hydrogen as energy storage or a transportation medium.  See also fuel cell stocks. AFC Energy (AFC.L) Air Products & Chemicals (APD) Ballard Power Corporation (BLDP) FuelCell Energy (FCEL) Hydrogenics Corp (HYGS) HydroPhi Technologies Group, Inc. (HPTG) HyperSolar, Inc (HYSR) ITM Power PLC (ITM.L) MagneGas Corporation (MNGA) Nel ASA (NEL.OL) Plug Power (PLUG) PowerHouse Energy Group plc (PHE.L) Proton Power Systems (PPS.L) Quantum Fuel Systems (QTWW) If you know of any hydrogen stock that is not listed here and should be, please let us know by leaving a comment. Also for stocks in the list that you think should be removed.

List of Fuel Cell Stocks

Fuel cell stocks are publicly traded companies whose business involves fuel cells, devices for efficiently converting the energy in a fuel (often hydrogen) directly into electricity by chemical means, without combustion. Applications include road transport, large-scale energy storage and short-haul transport such as forklifts. AFC Energy (AFC.L) Ballard Power Corporation (BLDP) Bloom Energy Corporation (BE) Ceres Power Holdings PLC (CPWHF) Enova Systems (ENVS) FuelCell Energy (FCEL) Hydrogenics Corp (HYGS) ITM Power (ITM.L) Neah Power Systems (NPWZ) Plug Power (PLUG) Proton Power Systems (PPS.L) SFC Energy AG (F3C.DE) If you know of any fuel cell stock that is not listed here and should be, please let us know by leaving a comment. Also...

List of Battery Stocks

Battery stocks are publicly traded companies whose business involves the manufacture of batteries, battery components, or battery management systems used to store electricity through electrochemical means. Advanced Battery Technologies Inc (ABAT) Albermarle Corp (ALB) Axion Power International (AXPW) BioSolar, Inc. (BSRC) BYD Company, Ltd. (BYDDY) China BAK Battery (CBAK) Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (300750.SZ) Eguana Technologies Inc. (EGT.V) Electrovaya, Inc. (EFL.TO) EnerSys (ENS) EnSync, Inc. (ESNC) Flux Power Holdings, Inc (FLUX) Global X Lithium ETF (LIT) Highpower International (HPJ) Johnson Controls (JCI) Lithium Technology Corporation (LTHUQ) mPhase Technologies (XDSL) NGK Insulators Ltd. (NGKIF) OM Group (OMG) Powin Energy Corp. (PWON) Redflow Limited (RFX.AX) Saft Group (SGPEF) Ultralife Batteries Inc (ULBI) Umicore S.A. (UMI.BR, UMICY, UMICF) Vendum Batteries, Inc. (VNDB) If you know of any...

Electrovaya’s Battery Bargain

by Debra Fiakas CFA Last week management of Electrovaya Inc. (EFL: TSX; EFLVF:  OTC/QB) were forced to issue a statement stating there were no fundamental developments to explain a dramatic decline in its share price.  The stock was trimmed back by 30% in two days under exceptional trading volume.  Electrovaya has developed proprietary lithium ion polymer batteries for grid storage and transportation applications.  Other than financial results for the quarter ending March 2017, the Company has had little to tell investors about the batteries, its customers or any other topic. Electrovaya distinguishes its lithium ion batteries among...

Take A Bromide For Flow Battery Frustration

by Debra Fiakas CFA The most recent article Vanadium Flow Battery Stocks: Barely A Dribble may have disappointed some investors who were expecting more opportunity for a stake in building energy storage.  Large scale energy storage is an idea to which many in the utility industry speak, but few power producers have made significant investments beyond lithium ion batteries.  Flow batteries have long been touted as a cost-effective and technically superior alternative for wind or solar power storage or for load-balancing efforts on the electric grid, as examples.  In the last post we looked at the flow battery...

Vanadium Flow Battery Stocks: Barely A Dribble

by Debra Fiakas CFA   The previous post “Investing With The Flow Battery” introduced a series of articles on flow batteries for grid-scale energy storage.  Investors focused on renewable investments should at least consider the implications of storage requirements in evaluating renewable energy technologies even if storage developers are not considered portfolio-worthy.  Owners of grid-connected solar and wind power systems must design a network that can meet the highest peak load of the year even if a large part of the generating capacity sits idle for extended periods.  Storage technologies convert electrical power into chemical or mechanical energy...

Investing With The Flow Battery

by Debra Fiakas CFA   The looming threat of global warming has nearly everyone  -  except perhaps those bickering with each other in the Whitehouse  -  scrambling for lower carbon energy sources.  Intermittancy remains a stumbling block for several of the lower-carbon renewable energy sources, particularly wind and solar energy systems.  To be a serious contributor to grid-connected power systems these energy sources need utility scale batteries that can store energy when the sun is down or winds have died away.  Unfortunately, with current technology the cost of such battery capacity increases the levelized cost of energy (LCOE)...

A Better Battery Or Bust

by Debra Fiakas CFA Last month BioSolar (BSRC:  OTC/PK) reported positive test results for its proprietary energy storage technology.  The company is developing an alternative anode material for lithium ion batteries using silicon-carbon materials.  BioSolar’s engineers are targeting dramatic improvement in anode performance and equally impressive reductions in cost.  If they are successful, it could mean longer lithium ion battery life, greater capacity and shorter charging time  -  the dreams of every manufacturer with an electronic product. Most lithium ion batteries rely on graphite for the battery anode.  However, silicon anodes could offer as much as ten...