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Say Hello to the Smart Grid: The Future of the $2.4 TRILLION Energy Market

New Jersey. Texas. California. Oregon. Montana. Louisiana.
That’s the short list of just some of the states across America that have been hit by power…

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This article was originally published by Investor Place

New Jersey. Texas. California. Oregon. Montana. Louisiana.

That’s the short list of just some of the states across America that have been hit by power outages over the past month alone.

And this isn’t an “unusual” time. Power outages are par for the course these days. Our grid is too strained and too old to handle the power load of modern society, which includes smartphones in every hand, smart TVs in every room, smart cameras at every door, smart lighting throughout the home, and more.

Indeed, an analysis by Climate Central found that the frequency of major power outages grew by 10X from the mid-1980s to 2012 – and anyone who’s been a homeowner since 2012 can tell you that the frequency of power outages has shot up significantly since 2012.

The big picture? Our grid needs help.

Coming to the rescue is the so-called “smart grid” – which, while a term you may not be familiar with, represents the inevitable future of the $2.4 trillion energy market.

Source: Shutterstock
Source: Shutterstock

At its core, the smart grid is simple.

It’s a bidirectional, decentralized network of independent clean energy power generators, wherein those power generators can both buy energy from the grid when there’s an energy deficit and sell energy back to the grid when there’s an energy surplus.

The thinking is that the big problem today isn’t a power shortage – but rather, you have two big problems.

One, you have an inefficient distribution of power creation. And two, you have an overreliance on centralized power.

That is, a lot of times, power outages are the direct result of a storm, fire, or some natural disaster forcing a power plant to go offline, which results in all the buildings that obtain power from that plant losing power, too – despite the fact that those buildings themselves may not be threatened by that natural disaster.

Meanwhile, even in the absence of a natural disaster, the grid sometimes gets too strained in extreme weather conditions. But a lot of times, during these episodes, homes with solar panels actually generate a lot of excess energy – which in the current grid network, goes to waste.

The smart grid was invented to solve these two problems.

Fix the central reliance problem by making the grid decentralized, thereby turning every building into its own energy generation hub with solar panels and energy storage batteries. Fix the power distribution problem by making the grid bidirectional, thereby allowing homes to sell their excess solar power back to the grid and enabling the grid to redistribute that power to homes that need it (or storing it for a rainy day).

That’s the future of energy in this world. That’s the smart grid.

The central technology of this smart grid is artificial intelligence, or AI. In order for the smart grid to work automatically, efficiently, and rapidly, it needs to be able to dynamically process a whole bunch of energy usage data, learn energy usage patterns, and develop models to optimally deploy power across various buildings.

That’s something that only an AI system can do…

Therefore, the critical enabling technology of the smart grid energy transformation is AI – or, more specifically, it is an AI-powered software system that can dynamically operate a decentralized, bidirectional energy grid.

A lot of companies are working on this technology because the economic implications of such a system are enormous. The company that figures this out will be a $100-plus BILLION energy tech giant one day.

One company stands head-and-shoulders above the pack at the current moment, and based on our analysis, this company has an extremely high probability of turning into the $100 BILLION smart grid operating giant of the future.

Its market cap today is less than $5 billion.

That’s why I included this particular stock in my ultra-exclusive 1 to 30 Hypergrowth Portfolio, which I just debuted last month and that includes 10 different hypergrowth, early-stage technology stocks with 30X or greater upside potential.

I truly believe this is a one-of-a-kind portfolio that you won’t find anywhere else – and which could be your ticket to the 1%.

To learn more about that ultra-exclusive portfolio – and about the energy tech stock at the epicenter of the smart grid revolution – click here.

On the date of publication, Luke Lango did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.

The post Say Hello to the Smart Grid: The Future of the $2.4 TRILLION Energy Market appeared first on InvestorPlace.


Author: Luke Lango

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Energy & Critical Metals

Pilbara Minerals Reaches Records Prices for Lithium Spodumene

Pilbara Minerals’ (ASX:PLS) third auction on the Battery Material Exchange (BMX) digital platform for 10,000t (SC5.5%) spodumene went off at a record…

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Pilbara Minerals’ (ASX:PLS) third auction on the Battery Material Exchange (BMX) digital platform for 10,000t (SC5.5%) spodumene went off at a record $US2,350/t.

It outshines auction two on September 14, which went off at a then-incredible $US2,240/t to singlehandedly spark a historic 86.5% month-on-month increase for average spod pricing industry-wide.

The average price for SC6% cargoes this time last year was ~$US380/t.

In the December half of 2020 – when pricing was still weak — Pilbara Minerals sold 114,239t of spodumene concentrate in contracts for revenues of ~$59m.

It has now raked in ~$US54m alone from these three spot cargoes totalling 28,000t.

“As with the previous two auctions, strong interest was received in both participation and bidding by a broad range of buyers,” Pilbara Minerals says.

“Parties placed 25 bids online during the 45-minute auction window, with the Company considering the bidding to be very strong in light of the deferred delivery date.”

 

 

The post Pilbara Minerals just sold the most expensive cargo of lithium spodumene ever appeared first on Stockhead.

Author: Reuben Adams

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Energy & Critical Metals

Hyliion’s Unique Bet on the Future of Trucking

Hyliion (NYSE:HYLN) is one of the flood of electric vehicle (EV) SPACs that emerged over the past year. HYLN stock, like its peer group, has also had a…

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Hyliion (NYSE:HYLN) is one of the flood of electric vehicle (EV) SPACs that emerged over the past year. HYLN stock, like its peer group, has also had a rough run in 2021 after the initial price spike.

Source: Muratart/Shutterstock.com

Unlike most of the EV companies, however, Hyliion has a unique vision. Rather than aiming to build its own EV brand from the ground-up, Hyliion is working on niche solutions to enhance the already-existing trucking industry. It aims for incremental improvement rather than reinventing the wheel.

So, will Hyliion’s new approach find commercial success?

Hyliion’s Products

Currently, Hyliion is working on a few different items to improve trucking efficiency. The company makes powertrains, which can be added to trucks. These are intended to capture power as a vehicle rolls downhill. That retained power charges a battery, which can help assist the vehicle once it needs energy again. However, the high $25,000 sticker price for HYLN’s product counteracts the fuel savings; so far, demand has been limited.

Hyliion is also working on battery packs. However this is a competitive field where it may not have a significant advantage.

The firm’s most promising item is the Hypertruck ERX. This is a unique product. It offers a truck a dual-powered system that runs on both a battery and a natural gas engine. For shorter-trips, it goes purely off the electric battery, offering clean emission-free driving. It has built-in features such as regenerative braking to help conserve and maximize power from the existing battery as well.

Once the vehicle goes beyond its range, however, it switches to using the on-board natural gas engine. Natural gas is much cleaner than diesel. Historically, it’s also been much cheaper, though that’s currently under question given the ferocious rally in natural gas prices over the past few months. Regardless, historically, there’s been a considerable amount of interest in using natural gas for trucking.

A combination natural gas/battery engine could be a best-of-both-worlds solution. It offers many of the efficiency and environmental benefits of electric, while having a much larger range thanks to the natural gas backup. Additionally, it gives trucking companies a relatively simple way to improve their business and improve their environmental profile without having to totally overhaul their whole fleet.

Is There Demand for This Solution?

There’s a bearish talking point on HYLN stock is worth considering. Simply put, there are dozens if not hundreds of companies in the EV space, with many of them focusing on trucking in particular. Yet Hyliion is the only one—or at least the only public one—pursuing this sort of hybrid approach.

Thus, one can reasonably suggest that Hyliion’s solution simply isn’t that promising . The existing trucking industry has operated as it has for decades. It may take a total rethinking of trucking from the ground up to disrupt the existing supply chain. Even if Hyliion can produce incrementally better results, that may not be enough to move the needle.

More broadly, there is a dilemma so many SPAC firms find themselves in. They have little in the way of profits or even recurring revenues yet. So, investors have to believe in the story to maintain their confidence in the firm. That certainly applies to HYLN stock, which has generated minimal revenues up to this point. The company does have a decent balance sheet and a number of pre-orders. Still, it will take more time to see if Hyliion can convert its potential into tangible results.

HYLN Stock Verdict

Hyliion is doing something different. You can argue that either way. Bears say no one else is pursuing this path because it is unlikely to garner much commercial interest. And that’s a fair argument.

On the other hand, there are way too many generic EV companies with a spiffy-looking prototype vehicle and little else. You might have better odds taking a chance on a company that is trying to advance a practical—albeit less flashy—solution to a widespread problem.

Hyliion lacks a lot of glamour you’d find in other EV companies. Relying partly on natural gas fails to check certain environmental, social and governance (ESG) boxes as well. However, if the company can deliver on its promises in terms of efficiency and cost savings, that other stuff shouldn’t matter too much. Hyliion still has to prove out that potential commercial demand. But the concept makes a lot of sense, and the valuation isn’t too demanding at this price, either.

On the date of publication, Ian Bezek did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Ian Bezek has written more than 1,000 articles for InvestorPlace.com and Seeking Alpha. He also worked as a Junior Analyst for Kerrisdale Capital, a $300 million New York City-based hedge fund. You can reach him on Twitter at @irbezek.

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Author: Ian Bezek

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Energy & Critical Metals

Cypress Development kickstarts its pilot plant program

 
Cypress Development (CYP.V) has completed the assembly of the pilot plant which will be used to test the metallurgical characteristics of the Clayton…

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Cypress Development (CYP.V) has completed the assembly of the pilot plant which will be used to test the metallurgical characteristics of the Clayton Valley Lithium project in Nevada. The outcome of the pilot plant program will be very important as Cypress will be testing the use of a chloride-based leaching process in combination with the Chemionex-Lionex process for direct lithium extraction.

This approach worked on a smaller scale basis and the pilot plant program could be seen as the moment of the truth. The flow sheet seems to make sense, and could perhaps mean a breakthrough for clay-hosted lithium projects as the sector will for sure be moving towards a ‘cleaner’ approach to recover the lithium versus the classic acid leaching processes. A successful outcome will further de-risk the project, and the subsequent feasibility study may show superior economics if the company uses a slightly higher lithium price compared to the PEA and PFS studies. Keep in mind the current market price for lithium carbonate exceeds $20,000 per tonne and if that price would have been used in the PFS, the NPV of the Clayton Valley project would have been substantially higher.

The pilot plant programme comes very timely as this appears to be the right time to consider developing a lithium project in North America as the economics will for sure be underpinned by a strong lithium price.


Disclosure: The author has a long position in Cypress Development. Cypress is a sponsor of the website. Please read our disclaimer.

Author: CR Team

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