Teeccino, a coffee alternative, has achieved product-market fit and is looking for explosive growth in the coming years.
Analyst Report: Upgrade for access Qnetic Wants to Replace Lithium Batteries for Green Energy Storage
Qnetic is developing a large flywheel storage system for renewable energy. But its product is still in the early stages of development.
- Company: Qnetic
- Security Type: SAFE
- Valuation: $15,000,000
- Min Investment: $200
- Platform: Wefunder
- Deadline: Jun 30, 2023
A Peak to Overcome
A few weeks ago, I had the chance to advise the CEO of Valley Clean Energy (VCE), a California-based renewable energy company, while attending an energy immersion class at the University of California, Davis. This small business produces energy through renewables, mostly wind and solar, to power Yolo County. And it faces the same problem other businesses producing renewables face – the sun only shines during the day, and the onshore wind mostly blows when the sun is up. As a result, when people come back from work in the evening, turning on heaters and TVs, electricity demand is at its highest — but production is going down.
I told this CEO about the solutions available to balance the electricity supply and demand. With dynamic prices, he could incentivize the use of electricity during daylight and outside of peak hours, but the drop in consumption would be limited. Using offshore wind — which mostly blows at night — could also be a solution, but it would not produce enough electricity to cover Yolo County’s needs. He could use natural gas plants to produce electricity, but this contributes to climate change and works against the United States carbon neutrality goal. But if the CEO wanted to meet this goal while providing inhabitants with constant and low-carbon energy, the only solution left is energy storage.
The most common source of energy storage is lithium-ion batteries. They are the cheapest solution available for renewable energy farms, and they store electricity instantaneously. But they have some major drawbacks.
Lithium mining isn’t green, which sort of defeats the purpose of using lithium batteries for renewable energy. Every ton of lithium mined releases as much as 15 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. And lithium batteries can’t provide the kind of storage that renewables really need. They can hold only about four to six hours of energy, which is nowhere near enough to power the grid. And lithium-ion batteries designed to last longer would be too expensive to be practical.
Lithium batteries also have a short lifespan. After 2,000 charge cycles — usually around five years — their storage capacity falls below 80%, so most renewable energy farms need to replace them regularly. This increases their cost over time and multiplies their environmental impact. And lithium batteries are very hard to recycle and release toxic chemicals when they sit in landfills. From start to finish, lithium batteries are far from an ideal solution.
For all of these reasons, I would have loved to suggest an energy storage solution other than lithium to VCE’s CEO. There are existing solutions that actually have a lower environmental impact and a longer lifespan. But none are competitive in terms of price. This is the problem that Qnetic is trying to solve — providing affordable and sustainable energy storage that can power cities from evening peak hours to the next sunrise.
This content requires: Edge
Data-driven startup investment ratings, AI analyst reports, and portfolio company exit and failure tracking
- Everything in Free plus
- Data-driven investment ratings and AI analyst reports
- Advanced company search table (with ratings and reports)
- Markets page filters and historical industry data
- Startup investment exit and failure tracker
- Startup Portfolio Tracking
- Advanced Search Table
- Founder Profiles
- Trending Companies
- Fundraising Analytics
- News and Crowdopedia
Advanced Search table full access, including ratings and analyst reports.
Charts and trends of capital raised by platform, security type, industry, and more.
Unlock Ratings and AI analyst report filters in the Advanced Company Search.
Track IPOs, acquisitions, failures and other exits for companies in your portfolio.