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EnergyNest - enable clean energy now

Renewable energy has challenges. The sun doesn't always shine and the wind doesn't always blow. Current energy storage solutions are complex, expensive and hard to maintain. EnergyNest is the solution.

Our story

The Problem Facing the Renewable Energy Market

"Storage, Not Generation, is the Challenge to Renewable Energy" Forbes

There is a consensus across many energy industry experts that the renewable energy market faces some challenges. There have been incredible advances in renewable power generation techology driven by carbon emission targets which has led to a sustained increase in the use of renewables. Industry commentators see fixed and variable costs for wind and solar decreasing by a rate which puts traditional power generation under pressure - some expect to see fossil fuel power generation decline in the next decade. However, despite these huge leaps in progress, most renewable energy solutions still face quite a simple problem.

Put simply, solar panels cannot generate power during the night and wind turbines cannot generate power unless there is wind. This challenge requires the power grid to have other power sources available - often fossil fuel - as back-up.  

"The United States alone would want to build more than 100 gigawatts of storage over a decade […] significantly improving reliability and making solar, wind, nuclear, and coal much cheaper to deliver.” McKinsey & Company

These challenges can mean that energy is quite often being wasted by renewable energy plants. For example in China - currently accounting for one third of global installed wind power capacity - curtailment rates in wind generation averaged 15% according to China's Renewable Energy Industries Association (CREIA) - with some areas in China reaching rates of 60%. Matching demand with supply is therefore a hurdle which can be tackled by an efficient and low cost form of energy storage. 

The Idea

Founder and CTO of EnergyNest, Pål G. Bergan, had for a long time been conscious of this issue during his career as an engineer, research director, professor and industrial innovator. He wanted to find a solution that would be low-cost, technically simple and possible to implement anywhere and to all applications. Since 2011, EnergyNest has developed a unique thermal energy storage technology with superior advantages over the current solutions. In collaboration with Heidelberg Cement, a new type of concrete "HEATCRETE®" has been developed and tailored to have the optimum performance with respect to storing thermal energy.

"Energy storage will be crucial for the large-scale deployment of fluctuating renewable energy worldwide" Boston Consulting Group

EnergyNest is solving problems in three grid-scale energy storage markets with a combined +$5billion market by 2020:

  1. Concentrated Solar Power (CSP)
    • Problem: Storage is the key differentiator of concentrated solar power (CSP) generation. The incumbent technology, storing thermal energy in molten salt, is expensive and poses technical challenges.
    • Solution: EnergyNest’s technology is optimally suited to replace molten salt and significantly reduce CAPEX and OPEX for CSP storage. EnergyNest can help to improve the attractiveness of new, as well as existing, CSP power plants
  2. Long-duration power grid storage
    • Problem: Electricity storage can add significant value to power grids in a large variety of use cases. Current battery technologies, mainly Lithium-ion batteries, are expensive, in particular for long-duration storage
    • Solution: EnergyNest’s technology can be used as a battery by converting electricity to thermal energy and converting it back to electricity when it is needed. The solution is particularly well suited for long-duration storage with low cost of charging electricity
  3. Industrial waste heat storage.
    • Problem: With increasing energy prices, various industries are looking to reduce their energy cost and are looking for solutions to use otherwise wasted energy. We have not identified any viable solution in market.
    • EnergyNest offers a versatile solution to overcome the mismatch between supply and demand of heat. Exemplary applications are storage of excess heat for electricity generation (waste heat to power), buffering to increase flexibility of combined cycle gas turbones and many more applications

If you would like to read more about how the technology actually works we have written a blog which is a "back-to-basics" approach to the technical side of things - First up: How it works

Our business & market situation

Market Overview

The addressable market for EnergyNest technology is long duration, stationary, utility scale energy storage. If the energy source is thermal already, the sweet spot are uses cases with temperature ranges between 150 - 420°C and more than 4 hours’ of storage duration. If the energy source is electricity, which needs to be converted to heat in order to be stored with EnergyNest technology, the sweet spot for supply of approx. 1-20 MW of electricity and more than 4 hours of charge/discharge duration in a Combined-Heat-Power (CHP) setup.

The energy storage market is expected to grow quite significantly over the next few decades. This can be verified with reports from 3rd party providers. The driving force behind this growth is the expected build out of energy generation from renewable sources, a non-continuous energy supply by nature, and the global efforts to decrease the carbon footprint overall by recycling waste heat.

EnergyNest has thoroughly investigated the market and defined, in collaboration with partners, three target segments for its technology:

  1. Concentrated Solar Power (CSP): This technology heats up a fluid by a setup of aligned mirrors, and uses the fluid to generate electricity or for industrial purposes. In order to make the power plant economically attractive, a storage is mandatory to ensure continuous supply of energy.
  2. Power Grid use cases: The tremendous growth in renewables on a global scale is a challenge for the power grid operators and the owners of renewable power generation assets. In many countries (e.g China) the grid capacity is often limited and renewable energy needs to be dumped. Storing excess energy and feeding it into the grid when capacity is available makes the business case for renewables more attractive.
  3. Industrial applications: In many industrial settings waste heat is generated which can not be avoided and or reused in the industrial process itself. By storing waste heat and using it for generating electricity or heating when needed, the carbon footprint of the industrial setup is improved.

Trend information

Key market trends across the target segments:

  1. Concentrated Solar Power (CSP): The market is expected to grow at least by 12% p.a. until 2030. China alone announced in the recent 5y plan 10 GW of new installations by 2020, twice as much as currently is installed on a global basis. Storage attachment rate is anticipated to be at least 80-90% compared to approx. 50% historically. Adding storage of existing facilities without storage is an attractive use case for CSP plant owners with a very short payback.
  2. Power Grid: The market is expected to grow at least by 20% p.a. until 2030. This is mainly driven by the global ambitions to increase the footprint of renewable energy generation and decrease the footprint of convential energy generation (e.g., coal, nuclear). Since renewable energy generation is not continuous, storage is required to meet energy demand whenever its needed over the day. Another driving force is the grid capacity challenge in many countries (e.g., China, Germany). By storing renewable energy when the grid is congested, the utilization of renewable power generation can be improved significantly.
  3. Industrial applications: The market is expected to grow more than 10% p.a. until 2030. Driven by the trend to reduce the waste heat inventory, companies are looking for ways to recycle as much as possible of their waste heat to reduce the carbon footprint and the electricity bill.

The Masdar Project

 In a joint project with Masdar Institute, EnergyNest has built a pilot facility in Abu Dhabi demonstrating its technology. Masdar has provided the Solar R&D platform in which the pilot from EnergyNest is integrated, and EnergyNest managed the design, installation, commissioning and training of the pilot facility during 2015 with the help through sponsorships from HeidelbergCement, Dow and Siemens. In November 2015 the pilot was finalized and validated by DNV GL. The report from DNV GL confirms that the technology works and all claims with respect to operating temperature, storage capacity and storage efficiency are met. EnergyNest and Masdar Institutes celebrated the inauguration of the pilot together with more than 200 guests in November 2015, and CNN made a small movie about EnergyNest. Currently the pilot is run in a 24x5 mode to demonstrate that there is no degradation in material or other adverse effects when operating the storage. We have now accumulated 1500 hours of operations (status August 2016) and the storage performs perfectly as simulated and without any change in the charge or discharge pattern. The pilot facility also serves as demonstration room and is frequently visited by customers, investors and business partners.

9 Distinct Advantages for EnergyNest's customers:

  1. Scalable: Storage system can be scaled up or down to fit specific energy system requirements
  2. Durable: Extremely long lifecycle since EnergyNest's solid-state material withstands millions of stress cycles
  3. Storage duration: Best suited for medium to long duration storage purposes (i.e 3 hours to days)
  4. Economical: Low cost materials (i.e steel and HEATCRETE®) ensure extreme cost competitiveness
  5. LEGO-like concept: With pre-fabricated elements and a high degree of standardisation, easy to integrate into energy systems
  6. Easy to install: Modules installation via assembly line approach; materials and components are easy to localise
  7. Safety: Solid state non-hazardous material; no HSE requirements beyond power plant specs
  8. Configurable: Applicable to broad temperature range (-50 - 565ºC); operating with different heat transfer fluids
  9. Low O&M: No moving parts, easy to control, almost no parasitic loads, no special staff requirements

Our team

Our team

EnergyNest has 11 employees in Oslo, and 1 colleague based in Sevilla/Spain. The team has an international feel and consists of Norwegians, Germans, Spanish, Austrian and Canadian. All colleagues come with a relevant industry background from leading companies (Siemens, Senvion, Abengoa, DNV GL etc.). The combined work experience of the management team is more than 80 years. In addition EnergyNest funds 7 engineers in Abu Dhabi (employed through Masdar Institute). This team runs the pilot facility in a 24x5 mode.

Dr.Christian Thiel

Chief Executive Officer

Christian is a Chief Executive with focus on bringing new technologies from idea to installation. His primary experience comprises the energy and energy-related technology sector – ranging from e-mobility over renewable energies to energy storage. Christian joined EnergyNest in 2014 and has previously been working for BMW Group, UBS Investment Bank, McKinsey & Co. as well as SENVION. Christian holds a PhD in Economics, a Diploma in Business Administration as well as a B.A. in European Business.

https://no.linkedin.com/in/dr-christian-thiel-ab488267

Pål G. Bergan

PhD, Dr.h.c., Professor Emeritus - Chief Technology Officer and Founder

MSc in Civil Engineering from NTNU, Trondheim and PhD in Computational mechanics from University of California, Berkeley. Professor of Structural Mechanics at NTNU for 15 years followed by 27 years associated as industry professor. Extensive publication of scientific articles and books, international lecturing and research cooperation including visiting professorships at Stuttgart University, UC Berkeley, Stanford University and KAIST, S-Korea. 25 years of management and industrial experience as Research director and Senior Vice President in DNV-GL, with responsibilities for strategic research, innovation and research coordination covering a very wide range technologies and industrial applications. Now passionately working with innovation, technology development and implementation of new technology as CTO in EnergyNest. Founder of Lattice Technology, S-Korea and EnergyNest.

André Korn

Chief Financial Officer

André Korn is a finance executive with broad experience working for blue chip as well as start-up high-tech companies in Europe, North America and the Middle East. Before joining EnergyNest in 2015, André was a VP Asset Management for Mubadala in Abu Dhabi, responsible for a $10b asset in Germany. André has a profound track record in planning, financing and running high-tech facilities from a financial perspective as well as M&A work in high-tech. In addition to his leadership role in blue chip companies like Infineon and McKinsey, André secured financing to establish and ramp a startup in the semiconductor industry in Germany to >$60m in revenue within three years. André holds a master degree in finance and computer science from the Technical University of Dresden/Germany.

https://de.linkedin.com/in/andré-korn-7021067

Harald Norvik

Chairman

Harald Norvik is former CEO of Statoil ASA. He is currently also serving as Board member of Conocophillips, PGS and Deep Ocean. He is Chairman of the Board of Havgul. Norvik brings vast experience in leading international companies and has chaired multiple Boards including Telenor ASA, SAS, Umoe, H. Aschehoug & Co. AS, TV2 ASA, Oslo Stock Exchange and DnB NOR ASA. In addition he has served as board member in E.ON Ruhrgas