A123 Systems vs. BYD and Other Irrational Battery Investments

John Petersen Mother always taught me that if you can't say something nice, it's usually better to say nothing. While regular readers might question my ability to follow Mom's advice, this is an article I had really hoped somebody else would write. The quick summary is that while the shares of A123 Systems (AONE) may be a reasonable investment at current prices, the shares of BYD Co. Ltd. (BYDDF.PK) are an irrational value proposition, the shares of Ener1 (HEV) are even worse, and the shares of Valence Technologies (VLNC) are beyond understanding. Since many readers find detailed tables...

GE Enters the Grid-based Energy Storage Business

John Petersen I've been writing about the rapidly evolving market for manufactured energy storage devices in grid-based applications since last August when I published Grid-based Energy Storage: Birth of a Giant. At the time, only a handful of smaller public companies were working on grid-based storage solutions including Maxwell Technologies (MXWL), Beacon Power (BCON), Altair Nanotechnologies (ALTI), Active Power (ACPW) and Axion Power International (AXPW.OB). Last November, France's Saft Group (SGPEF.PK) announced a partnership with Switzerland's ABB Group (ABB) to develop and commercialize utility scale solutions. Yesterday, General Electric (GE) joined the fray when it announced plans to...

Investors Push The Hydrogenics Reset Button

by Debra Fiakas CFA Last week shares of Hydrogenics Corp. (HYGS:  Nasdaq) took a steep dip down.  Earlier in the week the company filed a shelf registration statement to raise up to $100 million in new capital over the next two years.  Then before the last day of trading began the company issued new guidance for the year 2014, suggesting weaker sales in the first quarter than previously expected but reaffirming expectations for the full year. The statement replaced an earlier shelf registration statement for a $25 million capital raise.    The filing came as no surprise to...

Investment Opportunities in Large Scale Electricity Storage

The Economist had two great articles last week on two of may favorite themes in renewable energy, which I missed getting to Charles in time for  The Week in Cleantech.  Both deal with modernizing the grid to deal with the vagaries of wind.  The first is an in depth look at electricity transmission via High Voltage DC, a subject I recently wrote about in an article on ABB.  The second dealt with compressed air energy storage (CAES) which is the second cheapest way to store electricity, after pumped hydro.  Unfortunately, I have not found good ways for the stock...

Battery Cost Forecasts and The Origin of Specious*

*with humble apologies to Charles Darwin John Petersen The Oxford Dictionary defines the adjective 'specious' as: Superficially plausible, but actually wrong; Misleading in appearance, especially misleadingly attractive. The Wiktionary offers a broader definition as: Seemingly well-reasoned or factual, but actually fallacious or insincere; strongly held but false; Having an attractive appearance intended to generate a favorable response; deceptively attractive. Over the last two years I've patiently analyzed the evolving price and performance forecasts of electric vehicle advocates and lithium-ion battery developers. In the process I've shown them to be possible, but unlikely, and...

A123’s Planned IPO Moves to the Front Burner

John Petersen   After six months of regulatory silence and $100 million in new funding, A123 Systems amended the SEC registration statement for its proposed IPO on June 23rd. While this latest filing may simply be A123's way demonstrating its ability to raise matching funds for a scaled back ATVM loan request of $1 billion and pending applications for $438 million in direct Federal grants, my sense is that the proposed IPO will probably come to market in early September. Since ATVM loans will require 20% cost sharing and direct Federal grants will require 50% cost...

Electro Energy: Drained, or Ready to Recharge?

Bottom-Fishing for Batteries I believe that we have only seen the beginning of the current market decline.  You should take that with a grain of salt, since I've been unremittingly bearish since 1999 and for more than half that time, the market has been going up. Even if the market has much further to fall, some stocks may have already taken most of the damage they are likely to take.  Knowing that I might be wrong, I've started to do a little bottom fishing among companies that people have been starting to dump as the realize stock prices can...

Penn State Titania Nanotube Arrays Harness Solar Energy

Penn State researchers are finding new ways to harness the power of the sun using highly-ordered arrays of titania nanotubes for hydrogen production and increased solar cell efficiency.

Earnings Season Surprises In Energy Storage

John Petersen Now that the earnings season is almost over, a review of surprises in the storage sector seems appropriate. Before digging into performance surprises, however, I want to share a surprising excerpt from "Reinventing Capitalism: How to jumpstart what the marketplace can’t," an interview with Bill Gates that served as the closing presentation at this month's Techonomy 2010 Conference. While I commend the entire video for those who have 50 minutes to spare, I was particularly intrigued by Mr. Gates response to a question about whether we could reasonably hold out hope that Moore's Law class gains...

Energy Conversion 4Q Sales Disappoint

Energy Conversion Devices Inc (ENER) announced quarterly results on Monday. They beat Wall Street expecations with a less than expected loss, but did not meet sales estimates. They posted a loss of $6.9 million, or 23 cents per share, for the three months ended June 30, compared with a year-ago loss of $11.5 million, or 44 cents per share. The company's loss from continuing operations was 22 cents per share. Wall Street estimates on the loss were 26 cents a share. The stock is currently trading down over 4% in pre-market trading. I have been looking for a...

Culling My Energy Storage Tracking Group

John Petersen In my second quarter update I deleted China Ritar Power (CRTP.PK) from my energy storage tracking list because of its decision to terminate its SEC registration during a period when China-based companies with US listings were bogged down in a dense fog of suspicion. Since then the carnage in the energy storage sector has been far worse than I expected and it's time to permanently remove the companies highlighted in pink from my energy storage and vehicle electrification tracking list for the reasons described below. Current Culls In March of this year...

Active Power Receives Order from Leading Solar Energy Company

Active Power Inc (ACPW) announced that it has received an order for its new CoolAir DC product from one of the leading producers of photovoltaic modules in Europe. CoolAir DC uses thermal energy and compressed air to provide power, can be cycled regularly without a loss in performance and is environmentally friendly. By using solar energy to heat the thermal storage unit (TSU) and compress air in the storage tanks, energy can be captured and used at a later time. The share price of ACPW has recently retested the trendline and I will be adding to...

Equitex Completes Acquisition of Hydrogen Power, Inc.

Equitex, Inc. (EQTX) announced today that it has completed the acquisition of Hydrogen Power, Inc. ("HPI") through a newly formed Equitex subsidiary which will be the surviving entity and renamed Hydrogen Power, Inc. HPI is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Equitex which controls all of HPI's licensed intellectual property rights to patented hydrogen generation technology in the United States, South America, Mexico and Canada.

Electro Energy, Inc. Successfully Integrates Patented Bipolar Battery Technology and Lithium Ion Technology

Electro Energy Inc (EEEI) announced it has successfully integrated its patented bipolar battery design with lithium ion technology to achieve a multi-cell prototype battery with increased discharge efficiency, reduced weight and volume, more flexible design, and lower manufacturing costs. This achievement combines, for the first time, proven bipolar wafer cell design with gel polymer electrolyte-based lithium ion (Li-ion) technology. The bipolar Li-ion (BP Li-ion) cells have the same positive attributes as Electro Energy's bipolar nickel-metal hydride (BP Ni-MH) design, which typically provides up to 50% more power, 30% lower volume and 25% lower manufacturing costs than competing technologies....

Electro Energy Receives Approval for NASDAQ SmallCap Market Listing

Electro Energy Inc (EEEI) announced it has received approval for listing on the NASDAQ SmallCap Market. The company's common stock is expected to begin trading on the NASDAQ SmallCap Market on December 31, 2004 under the symbol "EEEI."

LG Chem: Storage Battery Leader

by Debra Fiakas CFA The post “Energy Storage Restart,” which was published last week, discussed the efforts by General Electric (GE:  NYSE) to get back into the market for utility-scale energy storage.  After some difficulties that required the partial closing of its battery manufacturing plant, GE has got back in the game with new contracts wins.  In April 2015, the company won a contract to supply Con Edison Development with an 8-megawatt-hour battery storage system at a solar project in California.  GE will be integrating lithium-ion batteries rather than...