This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

The New Energy Sweet Spot Is Storage

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- During the last decade Al Gore, the former U.S. vice president and now partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, toured the country touting what he called the "smart grid" -- an electric grid as decentralized as the Internet, where blackouts would be a thing of the past.

There is still not much "intelligence" in the electric grid. We still have three mega-grids -- one for the east, one for the west, and one for Texas. Earthly Issues has a great collection of maps illustrating all this.

But as the amount of solar and wind energy on the grid continues to increase, we are getting closer to what Gore was talking about through simple energy storage.

A mild-mannered Department of Energy official named Imre Gyuk is leading the charge. I saw him in Atlanta earlier this year, where he said that for every five watts of energy being placed on our electric system, we need at least one watt stored in order to eliminate the $79 billion presently lost to blackouts each year in this $250 billion market.

Gyuk helped work on FERC 890, a Department of Energy rule meant to assure that utilities pay a fair price for storage, and that storage companies be given a functional business model.

The result is what I call a "sweet spot" in the market, of which companies such as General Electric (GE) are starting to take advantage. Its latest wind turbines have energy storage built in and are already being installed in Texas.

Demand for storage can be pushed as well as pulled. With utilities like CPS Energy in San Antonio now seeking to end "net metering" and charge consumers with solar installations for access to their grids, companies like SolarCity (SCTY) are responding by adding batteries to their solar systems.

The move toward storage is going to accelerate as new technologies become available. Gyuk told me Bill Gates is personally investing in three separate storage companies. The University of Illinois is working on nanobatteries that should dramatically increase storage, and we haven't even mentioned graphene, a supercapacitor that can be made with a simple DVD burner, as IO9 reports.

This matters for more than renewable energy.
1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $93.74 0.00%
FB $117.58 0.00%
GOOG $693.01 0.00%
TSLA $240.76 0.00%
YHOO $36.60 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,773.64 -57.12 -0.32%
S&P 500 2,065.30 -10.51 -0.51%
NASDAQ 4,775.3580 -29.9330 -0.62%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs