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.

Power-to-liquids: companies commercializing electro-fuels?

This data-file summarizes the details of c15 companies aiming to commercialise low-carbon electro-fuels, using power-to-liquids technologies.

For each company, we summarize their process, their progress, timings, employee counts, patent counts, likely products and likely energy sources. Leading companies are picked out in the data-file.

Most are trying to make substitute oil products from renewable sources such as wind and solar. However, some of the most advanced projects are actually powered by geothermal and hydro, to achieve superior utilization rates.

Gas treatment: an overview?

The data-file gives an overview of different gas-sweetening and gas-processing operations, outlining the process, indicative costs, and drawbacks. We also note 20 companies with gas treatment technologies, although our list is by no means exhaustive.

Gas sweetening may be particularly important as global gas demand trebles in our roadmap to net zero and to remove H2S and CO2 from growing volumes of biogas.

The main method used for conventional gas-sweetening is chemical absorption using amines. We estimate that a mid-size facility of 500mmcfd capacity must levy a $0.15/mcf gas treatment cost and emit around 3.5kg/boe, to take out c7% H2S and CO2 from the mix.

Small-scale biogas technologies can be an order of magnitude more expensive, especially for early-stage biological processes being explored.

Other technologies in the data-file include wet-scrubbing using solvents, membranes, metal oxide guards, swing absorption and water removal.

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.

Next-generation plastics: bio-plastic, bio-degradable, recycled?

This data-file captures c10% of the plastics market that is derived from mechanical recycling, from biologically-sourced feedstocks or that is bio-degradable.

The largest and most attractive option today is conventional mechanical recycling, which tends to reduce CO2 by 50% and cost less than virgin plastic. But only c25% of plastic is well-suited to mechanical recycling.

Bio-degradable plastic derived from biomass is likely c30% lower in CO2 than conventional plastics, but around 2x more costly.

The data-file reviews seventeen distinct  plastic products, estimating the market sizes, CO2 levels, costs, production processes, uses and other notes from technical papers.

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.

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.

Autonomous vehicles: technology leaders?

This data-file is a screen of companies developing autonomous vehicles, including 14 private companies and 12 public companies, of which 8 are pure-plays focused on commercializing autonomous vehicles.

Rapid growth is visible in the space. 75% of the companies in the screen were only founded in the last decade.  Many have also become public, commonly via reverse mergers, amidst recent market excitement.

By transportation type, autonomous truck and freight-moving applications are most common, followed by autonomous cars, sensor technologies (especially LiDAR), then taxis, then finally passenger shuttles.

Recent technical progress is noted for each company. Many are proposing optimistic timelines, to introduce Level 4-5 autonomy within 2021-25. Others are more pessimistic and do not see commercial deployment of fully autonomous vehicles until after 2030.

Biofuel technologies: an overview?

This data-file provides an overview of the 3.5Mbpd global biofuels industry, across its main components: corn ethanol, sugarcane ethanol, vegetable oils, palm oil, waste oils (renewable diesel), cellulosic biomass, algal biofuels, biogas and landfill gas.

For each biofuel technology, we describe the production process, advantages and drawbacks; plus we quantify  the market size, typical costs, CO2 intensities and yields per acre.

While biofuels can be lower carbon than fossil fuels, they are not zero-carbon, hence continued progress is needed to improve both their economics and their process-efficiencies.

Our long-term estimate is that the total biofuels market could reach 20Mboed (chart below),  however this would require another 100M of land and oil prices would need to rise to $125/bbl to justify this switch.

The data-file also contains an overview of sustainable aviation fuels, summarizing the opportunity set, then estimating the costs and CO2 intensities of different options.