Tackling the elephant in the room: electrifying industry

Securing stable, cost-efficient energy for the manufacturing industry and ensuring flexible power generation will be key to enable the rising tide of renewables and ultimately combating climate change. EnergyNest offers a solution for decarbonising industry by making electrification cleaner, cheaper and more energy efficient.

The burgeoning energy storage market no doubt represents a huge opportunity for investors, industry and the power sector. While the focus has primarily been concentrated in communication technologies, mobility and transportation sector, electrical battery storage systems are expected to experience huge growth, with the IEA forecasting 106 GW installed global capacity by 2030 (compared to 8GW currently) and market value expected to surge t as much as EUR 89 billion in the period 2020-2030.

So, what is the “elephant” we are referring to? A recent study EnergyNest conducted with Aurora Energy Research shows the potential for storing high temperature heat in Thermal Batteries represents a cumulative global market opportunity over EUR 300 billion by 2030, more than 3 times the total market for utility scale electrical batteries. More importantly, Thermal Batteries will have a crucial impact on decarbonizing cornerstone industrial sectors such as Chemicals, Petrochemicals, Food & Beverages, Textiles, Metals, Minerals, by means of:

a) making electrification cheaperby taking advantage of increasing low price periods;

b) making electrification a cleaner, more attractive option for industrials with varying thermal energy and process requirements   ;

c) increasing energy efficiencywithin existing processes through waste heat recovery and subsequently reducing overall fossil fuel consumption.

EnergyNest technology

The industrial sector alone accounts for two-thirds of this market opportunity by 2030 – electrification of manufacturing and waste-heat-recovery combined.

Vast quantities of industrial heat waste can be recovered, stored and recycled, or used to generate electricity, thereby reducing fossil energy consumption and CO2 footprint. Furthermore, companies are increasingly looking to rely partly or entirely on renewable-based energy for powering their manufacturing activities and reducing the cost impact of carbon. However, the increased proliferation of renewables, along with their inherent intermittency, will inevitably result in increased price volatility in power markets.

EnergyNest provides climate-conscious companies the chance to convert low-priced renewable electricity into process steam that is stored and dispatched when required, or when electricity prices are high. Take Germany: a heavily industrialized country with the second highest electricity prices for end-consumer world-wide. Here, enabling companies to benefit from falling cost of power from renewables and insulating companies from increasing price volatilities to trigger industrial scale transition toward green energy is a no-brainer, surely?

And let’s not forget thermal power: Power generation across the globe is still predominantly thermal. However, during the coal phase out, the opportunity will arise for low carbon sources (e.g. natural gas, biomass, energy from waste) to provide the much-needed balancing of renewables. This constitutes another EUR 100 bn. opportunity in addition to industry for Thermal Batteries.

The potential thermal storage market is forecasted to be a significantly larger than the much “hyped” electrical batteries by 2030, and yet, thermal storage solutions seem largely to have been overlooked until now. If deep and systematic decarbonization of our energy and manufacturing systems are to become a reality, the approach to energy storage needs rethinking.



** https://www.marketsandmarkets.com/PressReleases/battery-energy-storage-system.asp

*** Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewable’s report. “Global Energy Storage Outlook 2019: 2018 Year in Review and Outlook to 2024”.

≠ Aurora Energy Research 2019

° Lazard LCOS V4.0: Unsubsidized LCOS $/MWh In-front-of-the-meter, Wholesale

EnergyNest is proud to announce that it has been selected as finalist at the SET20 tech awards

2020 just keeps getting better! EnergyNest is proud to announce that it has been selected as finalist at the SET20 (Start Up Energy Transition) tech awards by the Deutsche Energie-Agentur GmbH Dena (German Energy Agency) and World Energy Council. We are one of the final 15 selected amongst 570 startups / young companies, and amongst the TOP3 to take the mantle for “Renewable energy and materials” innovation category. This is a further recognition of the immense impact our Thermal Battery technology will have on decarbonizing our energy system. We look forward to presenting in Berlin on March 24th 2020.

The Mayor and Head of Business Affairs of Asker kommune

On October 23rd, we were honored to host the Mayor of Asker Kommune Lene Conradi, and the Head of Business Affairs Morten Bastrup at our offices. Among other things, the parties discussed how the public sector can support young tech companies throughout the various development stages. There was also an opportunity for our guests to try our bells for project orders, growth, and prosperity.


Opinion piece: “Struggling with Climate Inaction”​

In light of last month’s UN Climate Conference in New York there are certain things we’d like to address. Greta Thunberg’s impassioned speech called out international leaders for their weakness in dealing with the Climate Crisis. For those of us working daily with facilitating the transition toward a greener economy we find her bravery truly encouraging, not least the global movement she has inspired. Unfortunately, the subsequent pledges made by leaders at the summit did not live up to expectations. Once again, they were predictably underwhelming. The announced efforts are clearly inadequate to address the climate challenge our civilization now faces. At the same time there is great hesitation amongst global leaders to take the necessary steps for instigating the profound changes needed. Political calculations for driving forward climate action is being weighed against options of doing nothing or merely conducting superficial policy makeovers. Despite vast scientific consensus on the dire consequences of continuing to emit at current pace, the fact of the matter is that we are, simply put, struggling with climate inaction–as we have been over the past thirty years.

One of the pivotal moments in Thunberg’s speech was her point about the folly of countries tying their fortunes to the measure of GDP and perpetuating economic growth rates. Indeed, economic growth has no real virtue if it’s not gauged against its cost. But furthering economic development and growth does not need to come at the expense of the environment and climate. What we need now is quick transition towards “smart growth” driven by technological solutions that we have available today. It is no longer a question of waiting for the right technology to materialize or more research to be done. It’s about the willingness to employ capital, resources and manpower to scale up solutions that have real impact. Governments, investors and corporations possess this capability. However, it should be the market that determines the winners and losers. Winners will be defined by their ability to differentiate through green technology adoption enabling them to reach carbon neutrality. “Going green” is a competitive advantage for attaining profitability and long-term business sustainability.

The science on Climate Change is crystal clear. The question now is how best to deal with this crisis and what actions need to be taken in order to circumvent disaster. Some hold our basic economic model, market capitalism, to blame for the situation we are finding ourselves in–and that this model is inimical to saving the planet. Market failures, overexploitation of natural resources, not to mention failure to internalize the real costs of pollution are claimed to be resultant outcomes. Although there are countless variants of capitalist systems around the world, many of which have fostered greed or hazardous market behavior. In our view market capitalism has accelerated human and technological development previously unseen in any period of human history. More crucially it has served the strongest, most intrinsic force there is: the exchange of ideas, human capital, goods, resources and perhaps most importantly, knowledge. What we need right now is a collective sense of commitment and urgency to propel real action. In no other arena can this happen more effectively–or disseminate faster–than where it is in fact market driven. Now that the world desperately needs to spend trillions on transitioning to greener, more efficient and sustainable ways of preserving life, we need to leverage the efficiencies of the market to make that a reality.

Businesses are implementing sustainability and environmental compliance measures like never before. Within few years noticeably “all” corporates have established strategies incorporating sustainability into their baseline. However, real change cannot be obtained if operating conditions do not change on the ground. Industrial manufacturers are still widely exempt from fuel taxes and carbon levies or enjoy strong subsidies from their states. They therefore have little incentive to alter their business or production methods. Carbon price increases are starting to take a toll on company bottom lines, yet evidently more is needed to tip the scale. The measures, incentives and rewards for adopting environmental technologies as it stands today are still far too weak and fragmented. Governments and legislators need to bring out more targeted firepower to facilitate real change within their industries. The cost of transition must be borne by corporations, the public sector and other stakeholders alike without skewing fundamental market mechanisms.

Bill Gates recently made a very valid point: Divesting from energy companies with high carbon footprints is not going to reduce CO2 emissions–we must place investments where they matter–forging way for new, greener technologies to disrupt the energy system and enabling these to scale. However, we need risk-takers from the whole spectrum, not just governments and institutional players. Increasingly it appears that leading investors, portfolio managers and investment banks deem not having green companies in their portfolio a to be liability and competitive disadvantage. Recent economic research has shown that climate and environmental concerns positively impacts investor expectations, capital allocations, and consequently pricing and returns. More importantly decarbonized portfolios perform better overall. Yet too many economies have charged critical financing tasks to semi-governmental investment funds with half-baked mandates to ferry promising companies across the “valley of death” into market. Many of which neither possess the required technical knowledge or market insights. Clearly, combinations of both public and private equity are required for de-risking and scaling up green technology successfully.

We can enact change if there’s will, know-how and ingenuity–but the time to act is now. Tremendous achievements have been made in deploying zero emission systems like solar and wind over the last decades. Renewable power is poised to become cheaper than fossil-fuel based, outcompeting these in already many markets. But curbing emissions in the power sector is just one side of the equation. Electrification of industry and minimizing fossil fuel consumption in manufacturing is equally critical. For sustainable development to accelerate, the pricing of carbon needs to reflect the real cost of polluting. There are already available technological solutions in the market with vast decarbonization potentials. Some corporates are indeed ahead of the curve in investing in these technologies, yet too many choose to “sit on the fence”. With no real pressure to reform there is little incentive to act. But we cannot rely solely on regulating our way to a carbon neutral world. Reaching ambitious emission targets will remain elusive unless we make the hard choices for implementing the required means. This generation-defining challenge demands participation, cooperation and buy-in from all actors. We need politicians and lawmakers, entrepreneurs and industrialists, social campaigners and green activists, and yes–even the traders on the floors of stock exchanges across the globe. Only then can we tackle the Climate challenge within this very short time.

Chapette Cartoons, The New York Times