Over the past decade, costs have deflated by 85% for lithium ion batteries, 75% for solar and 25% for onshore wind. Now new energies are entering a new era. Future costs are mainly determined by materials. Bottlenecks matter. Deflation is slower. Even higher-grade materials are needed to raise efficiency. This 14-page note explores the new age of materials, how much new energies deflation is left, and who benefits?
Using a commodity more efficiently can cause its demand to rise not fall, as greater efficiency opens up unforeseen possibilities. This is Jevons’ Paradox. Our 16-page report finds it is more prevalent than we expected. Efficiency gains underpin 25% of our roadmap to net zero. To be effective, commodity prices must also rise and remain high, otherwise rebound effects will raise demand.
This 17-page note makes the largest changes to our shale forecasts in five years, on both quantitative and qualitative signs that productivity growth is slowing. Productivity peaks after 2025, precisely as energy markets hit steep undersupply. We still see +1Mbpd/year of liquids potential through 2030, but it is back loaded, and requires persistently higher oil prices?
Lighting is 2% of global energy, 6% of electricity, 25% of buildings’ energy. LEDs are 2-20x more efficient than alternatives. Hence this 16-page report is our outlook for LEDs in the energy transition. We think LED market share doubles to c100% in the 2030s, to save energy, especially in solar-heavy grids. But demand is also rising due to ‘rebound effects’ and use in digital devices. We have screened 20 mature and (mostly) profitable pure plays.
This 14-page report re-visits our wind industry outlook. Our long-term forecasts are reluctantly being revised downwards by 25%, especially for offshore wind, where levelized costs have reinflated by 30% to 13c/kWh. Material costs are widely blamed. But rising rates are the greater evil. Upscaling is also stalling. What options to right this ship?
This 14-page report explores whether global industrial activity is set to become ever more concentrated in a few advantaged locations, especially the US Gulf Coast, China and the Middle East. Industries form ecosystems. Different species cluster together. Elsewhere, in our view, you can no more re-shore a few select industries than introduce dung beetles onto the moon. These mega-trends matter for economic forecasts and valuations.
HJT solar modules are accelerating, as they are highly efficient, and easier to manufacture. But HJT could also be a kingmaker for Indium metal, which is used in transparent and conductive thin films (ITO). Our forecasts see primary Indium use rising 4x by 2050. Indium is 100x rarer than Rare Earth metals. It could be a bottleneck. This 16-page note expores the costs and benefits of using ITO in HJTs, and who benefits as solar cells evolve?
Polyurethanes are elastic polymers, used for insulation, electric vehicles, electronics and apparel. This $75bn pa market expands 3x by 2050. But could energy transition double historically challenging margins, by freeing up feedstock supplies? This 13-page note builds a full mass balance for the 20+ stage polyurethane value chain and screens 20 listed companies.
There is an economic paradox where shifting towards lower cost supply sources can cause inflation in the total costs of supply. Renewable-heavy grids are subject to this paradox, as they have high fixed costs and falling utilization. As power prices rise, there are growing incentives for self-generation. Energy transition requires a balanced, pragmatic approach.
Oil markets are transitioning, with electric vehicles displacing 20Mbpd of gasoline by 2050, while petrochemical demand rises by almost 10Mbpd. So it is often said oil refiners should ‘become chemicals companies’. It depends. This 18-page report charts petrochemical pathways and sees greater opportunity in chemicals that can absorb surplus BTX.