Author Topic: Bill Gross Keynote at DLD Munich 2019 on cheap gravity energy storage  (Read 4951 times)

Liberty

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l93S99rkDg4

Cool stuff. Claims can get to 3 cents/kWh, which combined with solar now at 2c is still competitive with fossil fuel plants (and price of solar keeps falling).

« Last Edit: February 27, 2019, 06:30:17 AM by Liberty »


perulv

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Re: Bill Gross Keynote at DLD Munich 2019 on cheap gravity energy storage
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2019, 08:34:44 AM »
There is a quite interesting thread about this here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17789456

I tried to do some research (*random googling) on investing in "Gravity storage" without much success. I guess finding a publicly traded company with little debt and years of profits is hard in a capital-intensive industry that doesn't really exist yet  :-\ However, it would be nice to find some way to make a small bet on this field.

stahleyp

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Re: Bill Gross Keynote at DLD Munich 2019 on cheap gravity energy storage
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2019, 08:56:55 AM »
I was thinking "Bill Gross is crazy now. What does he know about this topic?"

Different Bill Gross. :P

Pretty good video. I hope they can pull it off.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2019, 11:37:33 AM by stahleyp »
Paul

Liberty

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Re: Bill Gross Keynote at DLD Munich 2019 on cheap gravity energy storage
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2019, 09:34:22 AM »
There is a quite interesting thread about this here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17789456

I tried to do some research (*random googling) on investing in "Gravity storage" without much success. I guess finding a publicly traded company with little debt and years of profits is hard in a capital-intensive industry that doesn't really exist yet  :-\ However, it would be nice to find some way to make a small bet on this field.

Thanks for posting the URL.

Not aware of any way to invest in the idea, but it's a cool technology that, if it delivers, could be really useful to have on the grid.

cherzeca

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Re: Bill Gross Keynote at DLD Munich 2019 on cheap gravity energy storage
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2019, 10:51:54 AM »
simple idea, wonder what parts of it are patented (not the gravity part I would think  ;) ).  claims preliminary interest for $7B of orders.  shouldn't be too hard to ramp up since materials and process seems relatively easy to roll out.  does anyone know if there are any of these towers in operation, and what experience has been?

perulv

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Re: Bill Gross Keynote at DLD Munich 2019 on cheap gravity energy storage
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2019, 12:10:05 PM »
Bill Gates just (one hour ago) hosted an "Ask Me Anything" session, where he wrote this:

https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/aunv58/im_bill_gates_cochair_of_the_bill_melinda_gates/eh9e96a/?context=8&depth=9

"(...)even in the case of electricity you have to cover the times when the wind doesn't blow and the sun doesn't shine and electrcitiy storage (batteries) are not likely to be cheap enough to cover this. My friend Vaclav Smil gives the example of Tokyo's electricity needs when the renewable sources are not available for a number of days."

I haven't read these links myself yet, but definitely something I will digg into:

https://www.gatesnotes.com/Books/Energy-and-Civilization
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/03/meet-vaclav-smil-man-who-has-quietly-shaped-how-world-thinks-about-energy

On a more general level, are there some historical lessons to be learned (and avoided) if one were to find a way to invest in "gravity storage"? (Or electrical energy storage in general). What I mean is: There are plenty of ways to be right (the world needs to store electrical energy) and not make money. Price vs value of course, but there also seems like plenty of ways to end up with the Betamax or HD-DVD of energy storage here. The Buffett quote about airlines ("(...)farsighted capitalist had been present at Kitty Hawk, he would have done his successors a huge favor by shooting Orville down.") also comes to mind.

LC

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Re: Bill Gross Keynote at DLD Munich 2019 on cheap gravity energy storage
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2019, 12:35:59 PM »
The Gates AMA you posted is very interesting. He covers quite a bit of topics and is obviously well informed. Good reading.
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Pelagic

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Re: Bill Gross Keynote at DLD Munich 2019 on cheap gravity energy storage
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2019, 01:28:20 PM »
Barely mentioned in that discussion is the almost negligible environmental impact this form of energy storage has relative to batteries/pumped hydro. This alone should be appealing since it's important to factor in the lifetime cost of an energy source not simply the price per kWh. Interesting technology, will be cool if they can achieve the costs they claim.

I think there are a few other companies out there exploring energy storage solutions that involve gravity storage using rail cars. Use electricity to take them uphill then lower them to generate electricity, creating a sort of loop of rail cars at various elevations depending on energy demand. Simpler technology but it too likely utilizes a lot more land area than this crane system would.

cherzeca

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Re: Bill Gross Keynote at DLD Munich 2019 on cheap gravity energy storage
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2019, 12:40:48 PM »
cost is said to be $.03/kWh. 

what does this mean? costs $7MM to build tower.  is some amortization figured into this cost? what is the delta between energy put in to raise blocks and energy coming out when blocks come down. is this delta the $.03/kWh?

Liberty

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Re: Bill Gross Keynote at DLD Munich 2019 on cheap gravity energy storage
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2019, 12:51:21 PM »
cost is said to be $.03/kWh. 

what does this mean? costs $7MM to build tower.  is some amortization figured into this cost? what is the delta between energy put in to raise blocks and energy coming out when blocks come down. is this delta the $.03/kWh?

Good question. I assume it's the all-in cost, kind of like how they give a cent/kWh cost for solar even though sunlight's free and many panels require little maintenance, so most of the cost is the upfront capex and labor to build it/install it.