Energy economics: an overview?

This data-file provides an overview of 75 different economic models constructed by Thunder Said Energy, in order to help you put numbers in context.

Specifically, the model provides summary economic ratios from our different models across conventional power, renewables, conventional fuels, lower-carbon fuels, manufacturing processes, infrastructure, transportation and nature-based solutions.

For example, EBIT margins range from 3-70%, cash margins range from 4-85% and net margins range from 2-50%, hence you can use the data-file to ballpark what constitutes a “good” margin, sub-sector by sub-sector.

Likewise capital intensity ranges from $300-9,000kWe, $5-7,500/Tpa and $4-125M/kboed. So again, if you are trying to ballpark a cost estimate you can compare it with the estimated costs of other processes.

Decarbonization targets: what do the data tell us?

The most comprehensive and useful online resource we have found to track different companies’ net zero commitments is zerotracker.net. The database is freely downloadable under a Creative Commons license. However, we have attempted to clean it up in this data-file, including some additional fields and analytics.

The result is 630 companies that have pledged to reach some definition of ‘net zero’. Although the commitments are somewhat skewed towards easier-to-decarbonize sectors, such as financials (22%), TMT (6%), professional services (5%), retail (5%), healthcare (4%).

The average year to achieve this is 2044, although again, it varies by sector, and easer-to-decarbonize sectors tend to have sooner-dated targets.

A key question is credibility. 20% of the companies are deemed to have unclear decarbonization objectives and 45% are assessed to lack a clear plan to reach their goals (interestingly, energy companies scored above average on both of these metrics, at 16% and 27%, which squares with our own experience that some sectors are working hard to tackle CO2).

Another key question is scope. We were impressed to find that 50% of companies are including Scope 3 emissions in their decarbonization targets.

Finally, the list is substantively composed of large public companies, of which 40% are in Europe, 30% are in the US, 15% in Japan, c5% in both Australia and Canada. Clearly if you are a large public company, operating in these geographies, then investors are increasingly going to start ‘marking you down’ if you do not have clear decarbonization targets. On the other hand, private companies and emerging world companies are vastly under-represented in this data-file, which will re-awaken old fears over industrial leakage, and re-iterates the need for practical and economic decarbonization.

In the spirit of open source data, our clean-up of the database is free to download, in case it is useful for you, or helps inform your own company’s decarbonization targets.

The Top Public Companies for an Energy Transition

This data-file compiles all of our insights into publicly listed companies and their edge in the energy transition: commercialising economic technologies that advance the world towards ‘net zero’ CO2 by 2050.

Each insight is a differentiated conclusion, derived from a specific piece of research, data-analysis or modelling on the TSE web portal; summarized alongside links to our work. Next, the data-file ranks each insight according to its economic implications, technical readiness, its ability to accelerate the energy transition and the edge it confers on the company in question.

Each company can then be assessed by adding up the number of differentiated insights that feature in our work, and the average ‘score’ of each insight. The file is intended as a summary of our differentiated views on each company.

The screen is updated monthly. At the latest update, in October-2021, it contains 220 differentiated views on 120 public companies.

The Top 40 Private Companies for an Energy Transition

This data-file presents the ‘top 40’ private companies out of several hundred that have crossed our screens since the inception of Thunder Said Energy, looking back across all of our research.

For each company, we have used apples-to-apples criteria to score economics, technical readiness, technical edge, decarbonization credentials and our own depth of analysis.

The data-file also contains a short, two-line description follows for each company, plus links to our wider research, which will outline each opportunity in detail.

Glass fiber: screen of leading companies?

This data-file aims to provide an overview of the world’s largest glass fiber manufacturers, quantifying company size, production volumes (in kTpa), proportionate exposure to the theme (% of revenues), plant locations, employee counts and patent filings. Summary notes are also provided for each company.

The industry is opaque, so our analysis has simply aimed to triangulate between publicly available data-sources and make informed estimates.

Three of the largest five companies in the industry are now based in China, but increasingly expanding internationally.

Long-term LNG supplies: devastating shortages?

Our LNG supply model looks project-by-project, across 125 LNG facilities: including c40 mature plants, c12 under development, c20 in design and c25 under discussion.

Our base case supply estimates come from “risking” the supply associated with each of these projects (chart below). Use of LNG should rise at over 8% per year to drive the energy transition and displace coal, but there are only enough developments underway for a 4-5% CAGR, as COVID has deferred 70MTpa of start-ups.

The outlook depends on the path. The 2030 supply outlook can vary by c300MTpa, when comparing all reasonably possible supply (top chart) against the firm supply-growth that looks all but locked (bottom chart). Qatar and select US projects are the most exciting new supply sources.

The greatest opportunities in LNG are therefore to create new demand and to advance competitive projects when others are cannot. To see which projects we think will progress, please download the data-file.

Axial flux motors: leading companies and products?

This data-file profiles leading companies and products in the space of axial flux motors, in order to highlight ‘who they are’ and ‘what they do’.

One tab compiles the details of ten leading axial flux motor designs, with an average power density of almost 8kW/kg, which is even higher than the PMSRMs used in the latest Teslas, and around 10x higher than a typical AC induction motor in heavy industry. Other technical parameters of these motors are also compiled.

Leading companies are also profiled later in the data-file, based on reviewing over 1,200 patents, the companies’ size and their recent news flow. The pace of patent activity has been rising at a CAGR of 16% over the past decade, including traditional cap goods, autos and motors companies, plus pure-plays in axial flux motors (see diagram above).

Compressors: a simple overview?

This data-file aims to give a helpful, basic overview of the world of compressors. The global market is c$40bn per year, growing at a 3% CAGR, which may accelerate in the energy transition. We outline how centrifugal, reciprocating and screw compressors differ.

Next we tabulate costs. A typical industrial compressor might be around 50kW, enough to boost about 2m3 per second of air to the same pressure as a car tire (calculations are given). This might typically cost around $850/kW on an installed basis (data above).

In the energy industry, larger compressors can surpass 10MW-scale. Costs can vary by around 10x depending on the context.

Some of the largest companies are also profiled, but the industry is led by Atlas Copco and Ingersoll Rand.

Variable frequency drives: leading companies?

This data-file outlines the top twenty companies producing variable frequency drives to precisely control electric motors. In each case, we have quantified the companies’ size, market share, percentage exposure to the theme and important notes about their positioning. The top three companies are European capital goods players. High-quality VFDs may protect against growing competition from lower-cost Chinese and Asian manufacturers.

Insulation materials: leading companies?

This data-file profiles companies that make thermal insulation materials, as 50-75% of all buildings standing today will likely need insulation upgrades on the road to ‘net zero’, while the pace of progress should be amplified in times of energy shortages.

A dozen companies are compared, including their size, revenues, percent exposure to thermal insulation and a brief summary of their products.