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Megatrends: Part 4 — Energy Storage

Shocking profits from storing power.

Written by Jason Williams
Posted January 1, 2021

Greetings and Happy New Year! Wow! It feels like we didn’t really have a 2020 at all. I know, we had enough bad news, drama, and strife to fill a decade, but the year really flew by for me.

We spent spring locked inside fearing for our lives. Then we realized there wasn’t really that much to fear and headed outside for the whole summer. Then our fearless fearful leaders reminded us that we should still be terrified, so we started to head back inside again. Now it’s a new year and maybe we’re ready to move on from the insanity that reigned supreme in 2020. Probably not, but maybe.

But you’re not here for my commentary on the past year; you’re here for financial advice you can use to beat the markets. And that’s exactly what I’m going to deliver.

I’ve already covered three megatrends I see shaping the markets and the world for years to come. And today I have a fourth to finish off my four-part series.

But before I get to that, I just want to say that these are just four of many themes and trends I see carrying on for several years. And I’ll no doubt be addressing more of them as the year progresses.

But I had four spots to fill over the holidays, so you got to learn about four of them back-to-back to back-to-back.

And now, without further ado, let’s get into the fourth part of my series and talk about one trend that’s likely to be even bigger than all the rest: energy storage.

Fancy Talk

When I told my girlfriend I was writing an article on energy storage, she giggled at me and said, “You mean batteries?” She’s pretty quick.

And she’s also right. I’m saying energy storage, but that’s really just a fancy way of saying batteries for most of us. That’s because it's all most of us are aware of when it comes to how to store electricity for later use.

But batteries are just one of many potential methods of storing energy. So despite what you may think, energy storage is not just fancy talk for batteries.

I’m going to cover some of those other methods right now. Then I’m going to talk a little about the familiar one — batteries — and why they’re not working for us anymore. And then, I’m going to let you in on a new technology that’s going to redefine the way we think about electricity.

But first, let’s talk storage.

When a Battery Isn’t a Battery

Other than batteries, there are several other means of energy storage currently in use.

There is pumped hydroelectricity. That’s just when you use electricity you don’t need now to pump water up to a reservoir. Then, when you need electricity, the water is released, runs through a turbine, and generates electricity.

There’s compressed air where electricity is used to squeeze air into a container at up to 1,000 pounds per square inch and stored there (often in underground caverns and caves). When energy is needed, the pressurized air is released and passes through a turbine to generate electricity.

There are flywheels. That’s a pretty old method of energy storage. Electricity spins the flywheel and is conserved in the kinetic energy of the spinning wheel. When energy is needed, the force of the wheel is used to turn a generator, and voilà, you’ve got electricity.

And finally, there's thermal energy storage. A simple example of this is using electricity to produce chilled water or ice and then using that cold water or ice for cooling during periods of peak demand.

So there are already a lot of ways to store energy other than batteries. It’s just that you can’t really fit any of them into a cellphone, e-scooter, or electric vehicle. So we use batteries because they’re the best solution we have.

But what we have and what we need are two incredibly different things, especially when it comes to the high-output uses, like powering an EV, or storing massive amounts of energy, like what’s needed to power a whole house.

What We Have vs. What We Need

You see, the batteries we have now are great. They’re the best in the history of batteries. But that’s not really as impressive as it sounds.

They’re expensive, they’re heavy, and they don’t really hold a ton of energy compared to their size (energy density). So if you’re trying to power your house with batteries, get ready to spend a ton and have about another full house for the batteries to live in.

But there are researchers out there working on completely new ways to store the amount of electricity we need to actually live on renewable power.

Remember how thermal energy storage uses chilled water or ice? Well, there are researchers out there working on a different liquid-storage method.

So far, they’ve been successful with smaller cells, but if they can grow it to a home-sized system, the potential is limitless. Instead of charging up all those hundreds (or maybe thousands) of batteries and hoping they hold the charge for when you need them, you’d have two large tanks of different solutions that would live out back.

When you were ready for some electricity, you'd activate them, the liquids would pass next to each other separated by a semipermeable barrier and produce a chemical reaction that gives off electricity as a byproduct.

The amount of power you could store and re-generate would only depend on the size of the tanks you were willing to install. You’d be able to store enough electricity to power your home through the whole Alaskan winter.

Now, this isn’t commercially available yet, but when it is, you can bet nobody is going to want to buy a $10,000 Tesla Powerwall that’ll barely hold enough juice to run a refrigerator for the day.

But powering homes for extended periods isn’t the only challenge facing today’s batteries. Another challenge is getting EVs on the road.

It Can’t Work Without This

That may sound odd since EVs are already on the roads, but it makes sense if you give me a minute to explain what I mean.

Right now, the only EVs on the road are driven by people who want to appear environmentally conscious. It’s worth the extra cost of owning an EV, and it’s worth the inconvenience of not owning an ICE for them as long as they appear to care more than those around them.

But if we ever expect EVs to replace internal combustion engines (ICEs), then we’ve got to figure out how to make EVs match up to ICE when it comes to performance.

Your average EV has a range of about 300 miles on a single charge. But it takes an hour or more to recharge the average EV battery. And the cells in those batteries lose 33% of their capacity within just a few years (imagine if your gas tank got smaller and smaller each time you filled it up).

On top of that, the batteries are made of materials that are prone to combustion. That means the batteries can randomly blow up from time to time.

Until we deal with those issues, EVs will never fully replace gas vehicles.

But there’s one company that has the solution to this problem. It just recently released proof that its concepts work in the real world.

These batteries will charge almost instantly, have greater energy density, last far longer (giving EVs a more reasonable range), won’t degrade anywhere near as fast as current battery technology, and they don’t explode.

Without this technology, the EV market is basically dead in the water.

The Future of Energy

We already know that the future of energy is renewable. But we forget that renewable energy is not easy to store. Fossil fuels are. You let coal sit around for a few hundred years, and you can still burn it to make electricity, same with oil and natural gas.

But if you let a battery sit around for a few hundred years, all you’ve got is a corroded pile of junk (that you can’t recycle).

Renewable energy needs to be used as soon as it is generated or it needs to be stored. It’s not like our other methods of generation.

The electricity that a solar panel produces must be used immediately, either to power a process or to create stored energy. And if you can’t store the energy long enough for it to be put to good use, then it’s not really useful at all.

So, again, without a new, better method of storing energy, the renewable energy green rush we discussed last week is also dead in the water.

And again, this company’s technology could be the solution we need to push renewable energy ahead of traditional fuels around the world.

There's no point in just one country switching if everyone else still burns dinosaurs to turn on the lights. So we need this kind of solution to make global renewable energy usage possible.

And that advantage, that necessity for its technology, is going to drive this company’s stock price to astronomical levels. I’m talking about 1,000% or more gains, and that’s just to get started.

Coming Soon

I’m not quite ready to release my research on this innovative company disrupting the stodgy battery market. But I’m hopeful I’ll have everything tied up in the next couple of weeks.

I want to share the investment with you, but I need to make sure it’s really as good as it seems before I tell you to risk your hard-earned money.

So keep an eye out for my emails in the coming months. You won’t want to miss this opportunity.

It could literally change your entire life.

To your wealth,

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Jason Williams

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After graduating Cum Laude in finance and economics, Jason designed and analyzed complex projects for the U.S. Army. He made the jump to the private sector as an investment banking analyst at Morgan Stanley, where he eventually led his own team responsible for billions of dollars in daily trading. Jason left Wall Street to found his own investment office and now shares the strategies he used and the network he built with you. Jason is the founder of Main Street Ventures, a pre-IPO investment newsletter, and co-authors The Wealth Advisory income stock newsletter. He also contributes regularly to Wealth Daily. To learn more about Jason, click here.

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