Energy economics: an overview?

This data-file provides an overview of 60 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 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.

Nio: EV-charging breakthrough?

Nio is a listed, electric vehicle manufacturer, headquartered in Shanghai, founded in 2014, that IPO-ed in New York in 2018. It has partnerships with CATL and Sinopec.

The company opened its first battery swap station in Shenzhen, in 2018, which has since expanded to 200 battery-swap stations. The 2-millionth battery swap was completed in March-2021.

The Power Swap station 2.0 is scheduled to be rolled out in mid-2021, lowering the swap time to under three minutes, and carrying 13 battery packs.

We have reviewed ten of the company’s patents. We conclude it has a genuine moat in swappable batteries, which could only have been built up by an auto-maker that controls the vehicle and battery designs, as well as the battery swapping stations.

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 February-2021, it contains 200 differentiated views on 100 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.

Enovix: battery breakthrough?

Enovix has developed a 3D silicon lithium-ion battery, which is 5-years ahead of the broader industry, with 2x higher energy density, around 900Wh/liter.

Specifically, silicon has up to 10x higher energy density than graphite as an anode material, but it is prone to swelling 300-400% when charging/discharging, and Enovix’s solution aims to overcome this issue.

The company went public via SPAC in February-2021, acquired by Rodgers Silicon Valley, with an implied post-deal valuation of $1.12bn.

This data-file assesses 10 Enovix patents from 2019-20, using our methodology for evaluating early-stage technology breakthroughs. Thus we have scored the specificity and intelligibility of Enovix’s core technology. Our conclusion are laid out in the data-file.

StoreDot: battery breakthrough?

StoreDot is developing “extreme fast-charging” batteries for electric vehicles, using a proprietary range of nanomaterial additives. It claims its prototype cells can charge 5-6x faster than conventional lithium ion.  The company is based in Israel, has raised over $130M, and secured backing from BP, Daimler and Samsung.

This data-file assesses 10 StoreDot patents from 2019-20, using our methodology for evaluating early-stage technology breakthroughs. Thus we have scored the specificity and intelligibility of StoreDot’s core technology. Our conclusion are laid out in the data-file.

Leading companies in biochar?

This screen tabulates details of almost twenty leading companies in the production and commercialization of biochar, which have crossed our screens. For each company, we include details on their size, patent filings (where applicable) and their commercial offering. The average company in the data-file was founded in 2012, has 8 employees and 1.2 patents. This shows the space is early-stage and competitive.

Companies sequestering CO2 with seaweed or kelp aquaculture?

This screen aims to tabulate details of over a dozen companies sequestering CO2 by farming or restoring macro-algae such as seaweeds and kelp.

The area is fast-growing but early-stage, with the average company founded in 2017 and employing 10 people.

Commercial products being made from seaweed include foods, animal feeds, fertilizers, next-gen plastics and even distilled spirits.

Our full notes from technical papers and all of the companies are laid out in the screen.

Quantumscape: battery breakthrough?

This data-file reviews 25 of QuantumScape’s 2019-20 patents, in order to substantiate its claims of a solid-state battery than can achieve c50-100% higher energy density than conventional lithium ion batteries, 3x faster charging, while also surviving hundreds of charge-discharge cycles without degradation.

The single largest patent challenge that QuantumScape was aiming to overcome was manufacturing methods, discussed in 75% of the patents. This augurs well for transitioning into production mode.

Preventing dendrites and ensuring cell longevity were related, joint-second focus areas. Quantumscape is light years ahead of competitors, but the longevity is not fully de-risked by these patents.

Quantumscape’s proprietary cell designs are also assessed in the data-file,ranging from electrolytes and catholytes to more cutting-edge moonshots.

Uranium mining: company screen and market outlook?

We have screened c20 uranium miners, assessing each company’s production, reserves, asset base, size and recent news flow. 10 of the companies are publicly listed, while the remainder are private or state-owned.

Our market outlook is that firm uranium supply may be running 25% short of the level required on our roadmap to net zero.

Headline supply-demand forecasts are also presented in the data-file, along with notes and CO2 intensity calculations for the sector.