I first met Pete Armstrong as he was pitching at the Ecosummit event in Berlin in 2018 and last year. The scale of the impact possible in transforming our heating and water storage systems in our homes blew my mind. I’ve always been so involved in the ‘electrification of everything’, so I’ve watched since with interest. Mixergy were also mentioned in a recent podcast episode with Robert Trezona of IP Group, one of their early (and follow on) investors. So I thought I’d invite Dr Pete Armstrong to join us.

About our guest

Dr Pete Armstrong is CEO and co-founder of Mixergy, an Oxford University spin-out company which has brought to market a unique hot water tank. Pete completed his PhD on intelligent hot water tanks at Oxford Uni with fellow student and co-founder Ren Kang, before going on to win a Technical Innovation award within the 2013 Shell Eco-Marathon electric car competition, and a prize in a Climate KiC venture competition, which was the genesis of Mixergy in 2014. Mixergy has since received investment from IP Group, Oxford Science Innovation, Centrica Innovations and Foresight Williams to grow and develop the business.

About Mixergy

Mixergy has developed an intelligent hot water tank, which is unlike others on the market. The Mixergy tank operates on an integrated Internet of Things platform and is designed to selectively heat smaller portions of water. As a fleet, Mixergy aims to offer a Demand Side Response (DSR) service to the National Grid, absorbing excess power load and time shifting demand to help balance the grid. This “Internet of Tanks” vision will help to facilitate the generation and utilisation of more renewables nationwide to support a greener future. The Mixergy tank is also a benefit to consumers, saving up to 40% on hot water bills through sophisticated machine learning.

GUEST LINKS

Mixergy Website- www.mixergy.co.uk
Mixergy on Linked In: www.linkedin.com/company/mixergy-ltd/
Mixergy on Twitter: twitter.com/MixergyLtd

EPISODE LINKS

Cleantech Mixergy Raises £3.6M – www.businesscloud.co.uk/news/cleantec…gy-raises-36m
Mixergy on Fully Charged – www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1Z4JCoPAGc
Mixergy at Ecosummit 2019 – www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AL_wDpTVEc
Chaos: Making a New Science – James Gleick – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos:_Making_a_New_Science

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As you will have gathered from this podcast, I live in and love the intersection of clean technology and entrepreneurship. This passion, and my role as CEO at Hyperion Executive Search brings me into contact with so many fascinating people, and I love to hear and share their stories.

On recent podcasts I’ve spoken to leads at cleantech VCs, Publicly Listed tech funds and soon Corporate Venturing entities, but today a very import part of the funding ecosystem are Angels and Angel syndicates, and my guest Simon Acland has great insights into this part of the funding community.

About our guest

Simon Acland is a Founder and Director of Green Angel Syndicate, the only UK Business Angel group focussed on investing in companies that develop products and solutions that help tackle the climate emergency and environmental crisis and aim for a more efficient and sustainable use of global resources. He sits on the Board of Triple Point Income VCT plc, which has invested extensively in renewable energy and vertical farming, and is on the investment panel of the Triple Point Impact EIS Fund which makes green investments. He is a member of the investment committee of the Angel CoFund. He acts as chair or non-exec director of two companies he has backed in the green technology sector – Powervault, a developer and manufacturer of home electricity storage devices, including products which reuse batteries from electric vehicles, and NatureMetrics, a pioneer of environmental DNA sequencing techniques for monitoring biodiversity. Simon is a Non-Executive Director of the Satellite Applications Catapult, and Vice-Chair of Plantlife, the UK’s main wild plant conservation charity.

Simon has a successful track record from over thirty years of investing in young technology businesses. For 19 years he was part of the team that built Quester into one of the UK’s most active early stage venture capital investors, and was Managing Director when it was sold in 2007. Since then he has personally been an active Business Angel investor. Many of the businesses that he backed have floated on various Stock Exchanges, and/or been successfully sold. He has lost count of the number of company boards of which he has been a member.

Simon spent eight years as a Lambeth Borough Councillor and stood for parliament in 1987 as a candidate for the SDP/Liberal Alliance.

Simon’s 2011 book “Angels, Dragons and Vultures – how to tame your investors and not lose your company”, is widely regarded as one of the most useful guides for entrepreneurs to the world of venture capital. His First Crusade historical novels, the Waste Land and the Flowers of Evil, may be of less practical use to the budding entrepreneur.

GUEST LINKS HERE

Simon Acland on Linked In: www.linkedin.com/in/simonacland/
Green Angel Syndicate on Linked In: www.linkedin.com/company/green-angel-syndicate/
Green Angel Syndicate on Twitter: twitter.com/GAS_Investments

EPISODE LINKS HERE

Angels, Dragons & Vultures – www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/18578…rwt_bibl_vppi_i0

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I’m very keen to hear feedback on the podcast and my guests, and to hear your suggestions for future guests or topics. Contact via the website, or Twitter.

If you do enjoy the podcast, please write a review on iTunes, or your usual podcast platform, and tell your cleantech friends about us. That would be much appreciated.

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What’s it all about?

I first reached out to Mike as I saw the incredible work he was doing as CEO of Ice Energy. As you’ll know, as much as I love traditional battery storage technologies, I also have a passion for thermal storage solutions, and Ice Energy has a great product. I’ve kept in touch as Mike moved on to new ventures, and had the opportunity to meet recently in San Diego at Energy Storage North America. Here we extend that conversation, into some possible controversial territory.

About our guest

Mike Hopkins is CEO of Bakken Midstream (www.bakkenmidstream.com), a company he and his partners launched in late 2018 to develop and own value-added natural gas infrastructure in North Dakota.

Prior to launching Bakken Midstream, Mike was the long-serving CEO of Ice Energy (www.ice-energy.com). Ice Energy is the leading provider of thermal energy storage for the electricity grid, with its award-winning Ice Bear system deployed in more than 40 utility service territories. During his tenure as CEO, Mike secured the largest ever thermal energy storage contract, expanded the product line, arranged over $55 million in funding and increased revenue over 700%.

Prior to joining Ice Energy, Mike practiced law for 18 years as a partner with Bennett Jones LLP, a preeminent Canadian law firm recognized internationally as a leader in the fields of energy and climate change. He helped his clients successfully develop and finance over $12 billion of natural gas fired power plants in the US, Canada, Australia and the UK. Mike served on the law firm’s Executive Committee and led their Utilities, International and Independent Power Groups. Mike left Bennett Jones at the end of 2002 to lead the workout of a private data center developer. After the successful sale of that company, Mike co-founded a geomatics company and assisted several other startups, including Ice Energy which he joined in 2009.

Mike is a member of the Committee for Economic Development of the Conference Board, the Board of Chancellors of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Canada, and the Board of Directors of OGL Engineering, Nelumbo, Inc and Plus Power, LLC.

Mike is a member of the American Bar Association.

He has appeared on CBS Sunday Morning and been a featured speaker at many conferences, including the Infrastructure Investors Forum, Grid Modernization Forum, Energy Storage Association, Energy Storage North America, Peak Load Management Association, Community Storage Initiative, SXSW Eco, Electric Power Research Institute, Association for Demand Response and Smart Grid, NY-BEST, EUCI, PlugVolt, World Energy Engineering Congress, US Energy Bar Association, Law Seminars International, and various investment bank sponsored private events.

Mike received a B.A. and a law degree from the University of Ottawa, an M.A. (Law and Economics) from the University of Miami and an MBA from the University of Alberta

GUEST LINKS HERE

Mike Hopkins on Linked In – www.linkedin.com/in/michaeljustinhopkins/
Bakkan Midstream on Linked In – www.linkedin.com/company/bakkenmidstream/
Bakkan Midstream website – www.bakkenmidstream.com
Plus Power on Linked In – www.linkedin.com/company/plus-power/
Nelumbo on Linked In – www.linkedin.com/company/nelumbo-inc/

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I’m very keen to hear feedback on the podcast and my guests, and to hear your suggestions for future guests or topics. Contact via the website, or Twitter.

If you do enjoy the podcast, please write a review on iTunes, or your usual podcast platform, and tell your cleantech friends about us. That would be much appreciated.

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What’s it all about?

At Hyperion we love all things energy storage, and we’re always following new companies and technologies that can and will enable the energy transition. I recently met the team from Gravitricity at a trade show I was speaking at, and liked the look of their solution, anything that uses old and established technologies for new and innovative solutions is good as far as we’re concerned, so we asked their MD Charlie Blair to share more.

About our guest

Charlie joined Gravitricity as a founder shareholder in 2015, having worked with co-founders Peter Fraenkel and Martin Wright while in the Innovation Team at the Carbon Trust.  The team has grown since then and he’s been instrumental in developing the strategic relationships with manufacturing partners that will allow the technology to get to market fast.  Gravitricity is currently building at 250Kw, 50 tonne, Concept Demonstrator in Leith, Edinburgh.   Charlie has a Geography degree from Durham University and an Energy Systems MSc from Imperial College. He was elected a Fellow of the Energy Institute in 2019. 

Gravitricity is an energy technology company based in Edinburgh developing groundbreaking underground storage.  Grid-scale electricity storage spend is projected to grow from around $3 billion per year today to over $50 billion per year by 2040.   

Gravitricity’s patented technology is based on a simple principle: raising and lowering a heavy weight to store and release energy. The Gravitricity system suspends weights of 500 – 5000 tonnes in a deep shaft by a number of cables, each of which is engaged with a winch capable of lifting its share of the weight. Electrical power is then absorbed or generated by raising or lowering the weight. Gravitricity technology has fast response (<1s), extremely long life, high efficiency and levelised cost of storage almost half that of chemical batteries.   The technology will initially be deployed at existing mine-shafts; later on in purpose-sunk shafts exactly where the grid needs storage.   

GUEST LINKS HERE

Website – www.gravitricity.com    

Twitter – https://twitter.com/gravitricity

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/company/gravitricity 

EPISODE LINKS HERE

How UK’s disused mine shafts plan to store renewable energy https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/oct/21/how-uks-disused-mine-shafts-plan-to-store-renewable-energy

Edinburgh company generates electricity from gravity https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-50146801

Gravitricity are Crowdfunding https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WE2vgFZY5A

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I’m very keen to hear feedback on the podcast and my guests, and to hear your suggestions for future guests or topics. Contact via the website, or Twitter.

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What’s it all about?

It’s taken a while to get this in our diaries, but I’ve been following and speaking to Simon for some time, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to record this exploration of the battery supply chain, ethics, issues and costs that are so instrumental to the evolution and massive ramp up of electric vehicles and stationary storage. Some great insights here.

About our guest

Simon Moores is the managing director of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, an independent price assessment company for that is most famous for setting the lithium industry reference price, together with graphite, cobalt, and nickel prices and analyses specifically focused on the lithium ion battery supply chain.   

Simon is one of the world’s leading voices in this space and has specialised in the upstream portion of the supply chain, from mine to battery cell, since 2006. His key focal points include graphite, lithium, cobalt, cathodes, and battery cells.

Benchmark Mineral Intelligence has advised some of the world’s biggest actors in the lithium ion battery industry from cell manufacturers, to electric vehicle producers to mining companies.

Through a series of subscription offerings and private consultation, Benchmark’s analysts and independent market data has enabled raw material and battery contract execution, multi-billion-dollars of supply chain investment, and the build out of the 21st Century lithium ion battery supply chain.

Simon has been invited as an expert witness to testify to the US Senate, regularly gives guest lectures at the University of Oxford, and will present at The Royal Institution in London together with the UK Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor.

GUEST LINKS HERE

Benchmark twitter: https://twitter.com/benchmarkmin

Benchmark Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/benchmark-mineral-intelligence/

Simon’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/sdmoores

Simon’s Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/simon-moores-b0661418/

Lithium price holding page: https://www.benchmarkminerals.com/lithium-prices/

Benchmark home page: https://www.benchmarkminerals.com

EPISODE LINKS HERE

Belt and Road: A Chinese World Order https://www.amazon.co.uk/Belt-Road-Chinese-World-Order/dp/1787380025

The New Silk Roads: The Present and Future of the World https://www.amazon.co.uk/New-Silk-Roads-Present-Future/dp/1526607425

Follow us online, write a review (please) or subscribe

I’m very keen to hear feedback on the podcast and my guests, and to hear your suggestions for future guests or topics. Contact via the website, or Twitter.

If you do enjoy the podcast, please write a review on iTunes, or your usual podcast platform, and tell your cleantech friends about us. That would be much appreciated.

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What’s it all about?

Limejump are one of the great UK cleantech start-up stories. Recently acquired by Shell Ventures, the company continues to grow and play an active part in the clean energy transition. I talk to CEO and Co-Founder Erik Nygard about the company journey, including how they helped in the recent UK blackout, the future of energy and the part AI will play, how is life as a cleantech start up owned by an Oil major, and his optimism for the future.

About our guest

Erik Nygard – CEO & Co-Founder – Limejump. Erik has worked for Centrica and British Gas; while at Centrica it became clear to him that people did not have much opportunity to try and be more proactive when managing their electricity. Therefore, he decided to set up Limejump, knowing that there was a definite opportunity to provide a better product and proposition for customers. Most recently Limejump has won the Bloomberg New Energy Pioneer award for 2018, S&P Platts Rising Star 2018 and WIRED London Smarter Energy Stage and manages the largest portfolio of battery assets in the United Kingdom. Erik has led the development of the Limejump Virtual Power Plant (VPP) concept to create the Future of Energy. Alumni of University of San Francisco, BSC in Finance an MSC and Cass School in London – Energy Trade finance.

Limejump is a wholly owned, independent subsidiary of Shell New Energies.

GUEST LINKS

Erik Nygard on Linked In https://www.linkedin.com/in/erik-nygard-1685611/

EPISODE LINKS HERE

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I’m very keen to hear feedback on the podcast and my guests, and to hear your suggestions for future guests or topics. Contact via the website, or Twitter.

If you do enjoy the podcast, please write a review on iTunes, or your usual podcast platform, and tell your cleantech friends about us. That would be much appreciated.

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What’s it all about?

I first heard Billy Wu speak at a renewable energy event in London about four years, and my inner battery nerd was born and thrust into the world. Dr Billy has the knack of being a fully fledged Dr of batteries, whilst being able to articulate to non scientific nerds like me, and possibly you, if you are reading this.  We talk batteries, supercapacitors, and of course Hydrogen Fuel Cells, where we are, what’s next, and who will win!

About our guest

Dr. Billy Wu is a senior lecturer in the Dyson School of Design Engineering at Imperial College London where he co-leads the Electrochemical Science and Engineering group. His research activities include: energy storage/conversion technologies (lithium-ion batteries, redox flow cells, supercapacitors and fuel cells) and manufacturing (3D printing, nanofibre electrospinning).

He has published 35 peer reviewed journal papers, 2 book chapters and 4 patents since completing his PhD in 2014 and sits on the editorial board of Scientific Reports. He has been an investigator in research projects worth in excess of £46M, directly managing a budget of >£2M and is a co-investigator for the UK Faraday Institution battery research centre. He directly leads a team of 7 post-docs and 6 PhD students within the wider Electrochemical Science and Engineering group which has >50 researchers. Prior to his PhD in automotive proton exchange membrane fuel cell-lithium-ion battery hybrid systems, he completed his masters in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College London in 2010.

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