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.

Copper: leading producers?

This data-file is a screen of the world’s largest copper miners and producers, covering 16 companies that produce half of all global output.

We have tabulated each company’s size, type, headcount, patent count, production, reserves, RP ratio, relative exposure, key assets and other notes.

The average company produces around 0.8MTpa of copper, has a 30-year reserve life, and derives 30% of its EBITDA from copper.

Small-scale wind turbines: leading companies?

This screen compares the offerings of a dozen small-scale wind turbine providers, with power ratings in the range of 30kW of lower, for residential energy generation. Costs range from $1,000-6,000/kW.

For each company, we have tabulated their size, experience to-date, turbine parameters, estimated costs and system reliability.

The three key challenges are performance, relaibility and cost. We believe that resolving these issues creates a material opportunity for small-scale wind generation.

Heat pumps: a screen of providers and reviews?

This data-file tabulates our subjective opinions on c20 different heat pump companies, and our own preferences to use their heat pump on a future European residential heating project.

Factors we have considered include pricing, reliability, efficiency, company size, the range of models, integration with home smart energy systems, and visual/acoustic properties.

A large portion of the work was based on tabulating customer reviews, from online forums. A key challenge is opacity, as many companies do not provide full pricing details on their models or have many customer reviews.

Transformers: companies and costs?

This data-file aims to tabulate helpful data on the grid-scale transformer industry, covering the sizes (tons), costs ($/kW) and companies in the space.

Specifically, we have aimed to disaggregate the costs of transformers across ten different categories, including the use of input materials, such as steel and copper.

We have also profiled companies in the transformer space, illustrating a competitive market, split between large capital goods companies, emerging Chinese companies and pure-plays.

Lithium producers: leading companies?

This data-file captures c20 lithium producers, their output (in kTpa), their size and their recent progress.

Our first conclusion is that the current lithium industry is heavily concentrated, as eight companies effectively control 90% of global supply.

While lithium demand is expected to grow 30x on our numbers (model here), there is intense competition to expand existing lithium assets and develop new production, across 10 earlier-stage development companies, many listed in Canada and Australia.

Three of the early-stage companies in our data-file underwent financial restructurings in 2020-21. To some, this might be a reminder for the high risks of early-stage, junior resource companies; while to others, weak industries conditions today might connote a future up-cycle.

Solar inverters: products, costs and companies?

This data-file tracks some of the leading companies making solar inverters and their products’ costs. Our utility-scale solar models assume up to $0.1/W might be paid for an inverter, usually less, and this is borne out by the data-file.

However, there are caveats. Costs per watt approximately double for every 10x reduction in inverter size. Chinese manufacturers also appear to sell inverters for 30-50% less than Western companies, suggesting strong competition and margin pressure.

The competition appears to be lowest for micro-inverters. In which category, lower pricing is also linked to lower efficiency ratings. This may augur well for leaders in this sub-space.

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.