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Investing in energy storage


perulv
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Does anyone have suggestions on how to invest in energy storage? It seems to me that all the listed companies, at least in the markets I have access to, are big companies doing 99 other things in addition to energy-store (like the ones mentioned here https://seekingalpha.com/article/4167555-companies-benefit-stationary-energy-storage-boom, Panasonic, Samsung, Tesla, ABB...).

 

It also seems pretty clear that energy-storage, in whatever form it will take, is an essential ingredient in wind/solar-power. No matter how competitive the prices of wind/solar will be, we will need power when the sun is down and the wind is not blowing. If that means tons of batteries, some sort of gravity-storage, or something else, I have no idea.

 

There seems to be many smaller companies like the ones mentioned in another thread . But none of these seem to be publicly traded. And of course, there is a high risk that many (most?) of such "crazy ideas" will lead nowhere.

 

I am not expecting to stumble over a perfect company with cutting edge technology, little debt, high margins and low valuations in this immature industry (although SolarEdge in 2006 was pretty close. Not in energy _storage_ though). But it would be nice to somehow get a bit invested in this somehow. Ideally trough a company that has some aspect of value/quality (I'm pretty allergic to high debt-levels) :)

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The better opportunities are in private/community co-generation,

and they don't need outside funds (or the reporting requirements).

 

Example: Gravity storage using the vertical hoist/air shafts of mined out mines.

The shaft is allready dug, is typically fairly wide (allows bigger lift mass), and is often hundreds of meters deep; modification is straight-forward, and doesn't require new technology. The electricty generated is typically purchased by the nearby mining hamlet/town, and used as a very cheap (& more reliable) alternative to standby diesel generators - for which the fuel must be trucked in. As the locations are typically remote, the electricity to lift the mass is typically wind, versus solar powered, and from multiple small turbines that are extremely robust.

 

Look at Canada's northern communities, and the greenhouses growing fresh veggies hydrophonically in converted containers. Gravity storage sometimes augments the electricity used to run the grow lights through the winter. A (not too fresh) single head of lettuce typically goes for CAD 3.99-6.99 at the Northern Store in Nunavut; and for a whole more in the smaller communities served from there. Pretty simple business case.

 

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/margaret-whitley/food-prices-canada-north_a_23552084/

 

SD

 

 

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Regulated utilities in good markets might make sense here. A regulated return of 10% (or whatever) is worth way more than book right now, which is why these trade for more than their rate base.

 

If energy storage ends up as an opportunity for utilities to put huge extra capital into their grids, they can grow their rate base. They buy capex for $1 and the market values it > $1, so that is potentially very accretive.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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