The Anonymous Widower

Gigafactory Gets A Financial Boost From abrdn

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on The Times.

It looks like Britishvolt is limping towards the start line.

January 21, 2022 Posted by | Energy Storage, Transport/Travel | , | 1 Comment

When Will Energy Storage Funds Take The Leap To New Technology?

This article on the Motley Fool is entitled 3 UK Dividend Shares To Buy Yielding 6%.

This is a paragraph from the article.

The first company on my list is the Gore Street Energy Storage Fund (LSE: GSF). With a dividend yield of just over 6%, at the time of writing, I think this company looks incredibly attractive as an income investment. It is also an excellent way for me to build exposure to the green energy industry.

Just as everybody has a fridge in their house to stop food being wasted, electricity networks with a lot of intermittent resources like wind and solar, needs a device to store electricity, so that it isn’t wasted.

Gore Street Energy Storage Fund is being very safe and conservative at the current time, often using batteries from one of Elon Musk’s companies.

You can’t fault that, but they are only barely making a dent in the amount of batteries that will be needed.

If we are generating tens of GW of wind energy, then we need batteries at the GWh level, whereas at the moment a typical battery in Gore Street’s portfolio has only an output of a few megawatts. They don’t state the capacity in MWh.

There is this statement on their web site, about the technology they use.

Although the projects comprising the Seed Portfolio utilise lithium-ion batteries and much of the pipeline of investments identified by the Company are also expected to utilise lithium-ion batteries, the Company is generally agnostic about which technology it utilises in its energy storage projects. The Company does not presently see any energy storage technology which is a viable alternative to lithium-ion batteries. However, there are a number of technologies which are being researched which if successfully commercialised, could prove over time more favourable and the Company will closely monitor such developing technologies.

They say they are agnostic about technology and are looking around, but they are sticking with lithium-ion technology.

That technology works, is safe and gives a good return.

But they are at least thinking about moving to new technology.

In the rail industry, it is common for rail leasing companies to get together with train manufacturers or remanufacturers to develop new trains.

As an example, Eversholt Rail and Alstom formed a partnership to develop a hydrogen-powered train for the UK, which I wrote about in Alstom And Eversholt Rail Sign An Agreement For The UK’s First Ever Brand-New Hydrogen Train Fleet.

Worldwide, there are probably upwards of a dozen very promising energy storage technologies, so I am very surprised that energy storage funds, like Gore Street and Gresham House have not announced any development deals.

Conclusion

Energy storage funds could benefit from using some of the financing methods used by rolling stock leasing companies.

December 13, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Finance | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Breakthrough Energy Storage And R&D Company SuperDielectrics Expands At Chesterford Research Park

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Cambridge Network.

This is the first paragraph.

Chesterford Research Park is delighted to announce the expansion of an existing occupier, SuperDielectrics, into new laboratory and write up space within the Emmanuel Building.

But it does flag up progress by one of Cambridge’s new companies; SuperDielectrics.

Superdielectrics’ mission is to develop high energy density, low cost, low environmental impact electrical energy storage devices that will help create a clean and sustainable global energy and transportation system. Superdielectric’s storage devices (supercapacitors) are not only safe, rapidly rechargeable and have a long life, they contain no rare materials or conflict metals and have the added benefit of reducing pollution and waste with no end-of-life recycling issues.

I believe they are a company to watch, as supercapacitors can take over some applications of lithium-ion batteries.

September 28, 2021 Posted by | Energy Storage | , , , | 1 Comment

Form Energy’s New Low-Cost, Iron-Air Battery Runs For 100 Hours

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Singularity Hub.

This paragraph sums up the genesis of the battery.

A secretive startup backed by Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures thinks it may have the answer, though. Form Energy, which was co-founded by the creator of Tesla’s Powerwall battery, Mateo Jaramillo, and MIT battery guru Yet-Ming Chiang, has unveiled a new battery design that essentially relies on a process of “reversible rusting” to provide multi-day energy storage at ultra-low costs.

And this paragraph describes the operation of the battery.

The company’s batteries are each about the size of a washing machine, and are filled with iron pellets and a water-based electrolyte similar to that used in AA batteries. To discharge, the battery breathes in oxygen from the air, converting the pellets to iron oxide, or rust, and producing electricity in the process. To charge, the application of a current converts the rust back into iron and expels the oxygen.

It’s all very fascinating and leads to a battery made from very affordable materials.

The article quotes between $50 to $80 per kilowatt-hour for lithium-ion batteries and around $20 per kilowatt-hour for Form Energy’s battery.

Conclusion

The article is definitely a must-read.

I feel that Form Energy should be added to my list of viable batteries.

August 3, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , | 2 Comments

The Complex Web At Sunderland

This article on the BBC is entitled Nissan Announces Major UK Electric Car Expansion.

This is the first few paragraphs.

Nissan has announced a major expansion of electric vehicle production at its car plant in Sunderland which will create 1,650 new jobs.

The Japanese carmaker will build its new-generation all-electric model at the site as part of a £1bn investment that will also support thousands of jobs in the supply chain.

And Nissan’s partner, Envision AESC, will build an electric battery plant.

I think there is more to this than meets the eye!

We wait several years for a battery gigafactory to come along and then two come along in a month or two; Blyth and Sunderland. On television today, a BBC reporter talked of eight possible battery gigafactories in the UK.

Lithium Supply

Where do they all think the lithium will come from, as some say there’s a world-wide shortage?

The only explanation, is that the UK government and the gigafactory owners have bought into a secure source of lithium, that is convenient for or easily transported to the North-East.

I am very suspicious that Cornish Lithium or British Lithium have found something bigger than anybody expected.

The numbers don’t add up otherwise!

Lithium Refining

On the other hand, it appears that lithium needs a lot of electricity to extract the metal from the ores, as electrolysis is used.

But with all the windpower being developed off the North-East Coast, there could be more than enough to refine the lithium.

Remember too, that lithium has applications in defence and aerospace applications, when alloyed with magnesium and aluminium.

So could a substantial lithium refining capability be built in the North-East?

The Chinese View

In The Times, Lei Zhang, who is chief executive of Envision also said he liked our masses of offshore wind power, so perhaps the Chinese want to produce green batteries in Sunderland after refining the lithium in the North-East?

Conclusion

We probably need battery-electric cars built from green steel, fitted with green batteries and charged with green electricity.

Is the Gigawatts of offshore wind electricity in the North-East luring the battery and car makes to the area.

Could we also see green steel manufacturing on Teesside?

 

July 1, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Gresham House Unveils 45-MW Battery Storage Purchase

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Renewables Now.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Gresham House Energy Storage Fund plc (LON:GRID) has acquired a 45-MW portfolio of battery storage systems in England, growing its operational fleet to 395 MW.

Gresham House are certainly growing.

As a Control Engineer and mathematical modeller, I certainly like what they are doing.

Modelling the cash-flow and earnings from all these batteries are is one of the sort of multi-variable problems, that I cut my teeth on, in early 1970s.

If I was starting out on my own now, as I did in 1972, Gresham House would be one of the companies I’d approach.

Their latest purchase is interesting in that it includes a 35 MW battery with a twelve year control to load balance for the National Grid.

There must also be a business model emerging for the developers of energy storage.

  • Design and build an energy storage system to satisfy a company or local area’s need.
  • Show it is working successfully for a period of time.
  • Add a nice lucrative contract if you can!

The whole setup is then sold to someone like Gresham House.

At present, Gresham House has a portfolio, which is all lithium-ion storage. I don’t think, it will be a long time before other types of storage are added.

February 2, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , | Leave a comment

Gresham House Energy Storage Fund Has Staying Power

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article in the Tempus column of The Times.

It is a good explanation of how energy storage funds like Gresham House work.

I believe they are very much the future.

Some of the new forms of energy storage, that I talk about on this blog tick all of the boxes and may even satisfy an extreme supporter of Extinction Rebellion.

  • Extremely environmentally friendly.
  • Higher energy-density than lithium-ion
  • Lower cost per GWh, than lithium-ion
  • Much longer life than lithium-ion.
  • Safe to install in built up areas.
  • GWh-scale storage in a football pitch space or smaller.

The UK’s largest battery is the 9.1 GWh Electric Mountain pumped storage system in Snowdonia and there is talk about over 100 GW of offshore wind turbines in UK waters. There will be masses of energy storage built in the UK in the next forty years to support these wind turbines.

Conclusion

Companies like Gresham House Energy Fund seem to have developed a model, that could provide the necessary energy storage and a safe reliable home for the billions of pounds in the UK, that is invested in pension funds.

Lithium-ion batteries will be reserved for mobile applications.

September 2, 2020 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , | 2 Comments

Financing Secured To ‘Enable Rapid Development’ Of Norway’s First Lithium Battery Cell Gigafactory

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Energy Storage News.

The article says that the gigafactory’s biggest competitor will be in Sweden.

With companies in the UK, like Hyperdrive Innovation, Gore Street Energy Fund and others developing massive demand for batteries, perhaps we should build our own gigafactory?

This article on Energy Storage News is entitled More Money For Lithium Exploration In Cornwall.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Cornish Lithium has successfully raised over £826,000 from shareholders to continue exploration for lithium in Cornwall, in both geothermal waters and in hard rock, and will build on the successful drilling programmes that concluded earlier this year.

I wrote about Cornish Lithium in How To Go Mining In A Museum.

Could an unusual tale becoming to a successful conclusion?

Conclusion

I think we can trust the Cornish, Norwegians and Swedes to ensure, we have enough lithium-ion batteries.

July 9, 2020 Posted by | Energy Storage, Finance | , , , | Leave a comment

Japan A ‘Very Interesting Market’ For Gore Street As It Becomes An ‘Enabler’ Of JXTG’s Transition

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Solar Power Portal.

This is the introductory paragraph.

London Stock Exchange-listed energy storage fund Gore Street has outlined how it sees Japan as a “very interesting market” following its investment from JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation.

I like Gore Street’s philosophy and its execution.

I am not an investor and probably never will be, but they seem to be based on sound principles and do their modelling well. I’ve built enough large financial models to know a good one from its results.

Gore Street is normally investing in lithium-ion batteries.

  • These batteries now have a predictable reliability profile and I suspect cash-flow from owning a battery is fairly predictable.
  • The control and monitoring software will get better as time goes by and these batteries will probably update themselves automatically.
  • They probably aren’t that affected by COVID-19, as lockdown still needs energy to be balanced and these batteries are probably performing as normal.
  • The heat of the last few weeks probably caused more grief than COVID-19.
  • If a site visit is necessary, they can probably be done with one man in a van with a key to the security system. So maintenance is probably easy to do, whilst maintaining social distance.

I also liked this paragraph from the article.

, Gore Street Capital CEO, Alex O’Cinneide, said that the fact that the deregulation of the Japanese market over the next few years makes it of interest to the company, alongside it having the same characteristics of the UK in terms of the decommissioning of coal, nuclear and gas and increasing levels of renewables.

Could Gore Street Energy Fund, be a safe investment for today’s difficult times?

 

July 2, 2020 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Finance, Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Do We Need A UK Lithium-Ion Battery Factory?

My post, Gore Street Acquires 50MW Ferrymuir Battery Project, Eyes More In Scotland and the article on the Energyst with the same name, got me thinking.

It was this statement about Gore Street Energy Fund, that really started the thought.

The fund said the addition takes its portfolio built or under development to 293MW and added that is has options for a further 900MW.

Gore Street obviously have the money to build all of this energy storage.

  • I have also looked at some of their projects on Google Maps and there are still plenty of sites on green- or brown-field land close to electricity sub-stations, where energy storage would be easy to connect.
  • I suspect, they have some good engineers or electricity marketing specialists available.
  • My worry, would be, with many countries going the energy storage route, is there enough capacity to build all the batteries we need.

We have three routes, we could easily take in this country.

  • Convert suplus energy to hydrogen using electrolysers from ITM Power in Rotherham.
  • Develop some BALDIES (Build Anywhere Long Duration Intermittent Energy Storage). British technology is available as the CRYObatteryfrom Highview Power, who signed to build their first full-size plant in the UK, last week.
  • Build a lithium-ion battery factory. Preferably of the next generation, so that battery vehicles will go further on a charge.

It is my view, that we should do all three!

Will Gore Street, add a BALDIES to their portfolio of lithium-ion energy storage.

I think the decision makers at Gore Street would sleep comfortably in their beds if they bought a CRYObattery for a location, that needed a larger battery.

Conclusion

As to the answer to my question, the answer is yes, as mobile application will need more and better batteries and on balance, we should have our own supply.

 

 

June 24, 2020 Posted by | Energy Storage | , , , | 2 Comments