With a 40+ year history of mining and oil exploration and development, and decades of experience at the helm of companies, Dr Kevin Moriarty has a proven record for building entrepreneurial ventures. Dr Moriarty has served as Director and Chairman of a number of companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). He has also founded and led several companies to develop mines in Australia and abroad. Dr Moriarty has led 1414 Degrees for the past three years, guiding its vision and the development of industrial and grid-scale energy storage solutions set to revolutionise the global energy environment. 1414 Degrees raised $30 million in two years, including $16.3 million in its recent IPO. The company is accelerating its plans for global growth and is trialling first of its ground-breaking technology on commercial sites.
1. Kevin, thank you for taking the time. Can you give us a brief overview of 1414 Degrees?
1414 Degrees is a public company listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, currently with over 3,000 shareholders having raised more than $30 million in the last 30 months. The Company is commercializing its patented high temperature silicon energy storage system, which has attracted great interest from industrial users seeking a compact low-cost solution for their heat and electricity needs. The core technology development is led by our experienced engineering team, supported by collaborations with universities and materials suppliers.
2. Where is the energy storage market at today?
The energy storage market is in the early stages of major growth driven by increasing renewable energy generation. Existing proven technologies are largely limited to pumped hydro and low temperature hot water storage. Electrochemical batteries have been developing fast driven by the need to stabilize electricity supply from intermittent renewables, but the relatively short life of batteries and expensive components do not favour them as a sustainable solution for large scale renewable electricity supply. However, since global heat consumption by industry is more than twice that for electricity, there is a large gap in the market for sustainable large scale thermal storage that can charge from renewable sources and provide reliable heat and electricity supply.
3. And where is the energy storage market going? What will the sector look like in the future?
There is no one solution for energy storage, as the market is vast and diverse. There are many storage solutions under development and some of these well have a commercial future. What we can expect is that the products that survive will be fit for purpose in market niches, and economics will be important since consumers will drive the market towards the lowest cost of energy. Scalability is a crucial aspect of the economics, and it is lacking in some of the electrochemical actually offerings, such as lithium ion. Hydro, flow batteries and thermal energy storage (TES) are scalable in the sense that their unit cost of energy reduces with scale. We therefore predict there will be increasing adoption of these technologies, confining electrochemical batteries to the large market for EV’s and small-scale electricity storage.
4. Can you explain the technological uniqueness of the thermal energy storage system (TESS)?
There are different types of thermal energy systems, but most have low energy density storage and provide heat in the form of steam or hot water. In contrast the 1414 Degrees TESS harnesses the very high energy density of silicon to provide compact storage and very high temperature air to power turbines with high electrical efficiency, in addition to heat.
5. Where does 1414 technology fit into the larger energy storage sector?
The 1414 Degrees TESS can provide reliability solutions at the suburb scale for housing, and small to medium industry. However, the versatile capabilities of the 1414 Degrees TESS can simultaneously displace gas and coal use for heat energy and provide grid scale network stabilization with spinning inertia from its turbines. Its scalability makes it a contender for very large storage currently provided by pumped hydro, but with the advantage that it can be co-located to provide heat to industry.
6. What is the long-term growth strategy for 1414 Degrees?
The company is currently installing its devices in water utilities and industries, providing an energy solution rather than selling the technology. This strategy allows the Company to harness multiple revenue streams ranging from sale of electricity and heat, to fees for grid stability for electricity networks. Its biogas charging devices (GAS-TESS) provide a unique low-cost solution for wastewater utilities and waste management facilities. The company is targeting large scale solutions for grids, industrial users and residential developments.
7. Finally, what are the main points that you communicate to investors when they look at 1414
The company’s unique products are aimed at gaps in a very large market whose potential is constantly reinforced by customers seeking a low-cost solution for bio-gas disposal and reliable renewable energy supply. The company is targeting capital growth as it expands into key markets. At this point it is installing pilots to prove the technology in commercial environments to drive sales of its products and services, then scale up to 100’s or 1,000’s of megawatt hours (MWh) to realise economies of scale from silicon storage. The business plan is to focus on the core technology development and use off-balance sheet entities to generate recurring revenues from provision of bespoke energy solutions for utilities and industries. These entities will be separately financed on the basis of long-term offtake agreements for heat and electricity. The company has a loyal investor base with thousands of shareholders looking for long-term growth from solutions to enable expansion of renewable energy.