Jan 29 2014
Dr. Nathan Lewis to Speak on the Future of Energy Storage @caltech

Dr. Nathan Lewis to Speak on the Future of Energy Storage

Saturday, February 8, 2014


Entrepreneurial Opportunities in Energy Storage

“He who cannot store will have no power after four.”

Dr. Nathan Lewis

George L. Argyros Professor of Chemistry

California Institute of Technology

 Baxter Lecture Hall, Caltech

Registration and Continental Breakfast: 8:00 a.m.
Program: 9:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Post-program Coffee & Networking with Speakers: 11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
$40 on-line registration; $50 at the door; $10 full-time students.
Caltech students (free)

To supply instant energy to meet our needs, utilities are required to generate enough energy on the fly. Renewable energy presents us with several problems, including intermittency due to atmospheric conditions (e.g. at night, on cloudy days or when the wind is not blowing). Being able to store energy and deliver it as needed has many benefits: the ability to adapt to sudden changes in supply or demand, increased grid efficiency and a reduction in distribution-related issues.


The main issue in storing energy at the consumer and utility scale is its high cost. Recently, however, industry changes have made a drastic reduction in prices possible. Within the next two to four years, some estimates indicate that battery banks will drop from the present $1200/KWh to less than $400/KWh. The technologies competing for dominance in this space go from Lithium-Ion, Lithium-Air and Flow batteries to flywheels, pneumatic storage, and Super Capacitors. IHS Research has recently shown that the “worldwide market for PV storage is forecast to grow rapidly,” and will likely “reach $19 billion in 2017 from less than $200 million in 2012.

The question clearly becomes how clever start-ups and small companies can bring technologies to market; which can store large amounts of energy at attractive prices, and then gain market share to attract the attention of large companies interested in forming partnerships or, perhaps, to be acquired or go IPO.

The February program provides explores this issues, providing a better understanding of promising technologies, the market forces shaping the field and the regulatory conditions that can help small companies grow and prosper in a territory where there are not yet any clear winners.


Keynote Speaker:

Professor Nathan S. Lewis
Argyros Professor of Chemistry

California Institute of Technology 


Mr. Jim Kelly

Dr Jeffrey G. Reed

Director of Market Development and Emerging Technology


Brian Wong


Program Producers:

Goran Matijasevic
Executive Director

UC Irvine Chief Executive Roundtable

Rogelio Nochebuena

Nochebuena R&D

Stan Tomsic
Executive Director

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