This article first appeared on October 24, 2016, but readers are asking about it now so we’re re-publishing it for your information. The commentary below has not been changed, the ad is still running and also appears unchanged, and the company that’s being teased is down about 10% in the 3-1/2 months since we first de-teased the ad. Enjoy!
James Stafford at OilPrice.com is getting into the “crazy hyperbole” business as he promotes their new subscription service, Energy and Resources Insider ($49 “on sale” for charter signups), and several readers have asked me what he’s hinting at.
And I can see why, the promised “Unlimited FREE Energy Transformation” the ad talks about sounds awfully compelling, and it’s built on both a trend we’ve all seen (more solar installations) and a “secret” compound that can replace the current silicon solar cells and “transform an industry.” So are you dying to learn about that “secret?”
Don’t worry, we’ll dig in and see what we can see … and yes, we’ll ID the company for you after we sift through the clues that Stafford provides. Let’s jump right in, here’s the part of the ad that caught my eye:
“Scientists and engineers have been trying to squeeze profitable energy out of silicon solar cells for 62 years.
“What they’re starting to realize is… as you’ll see in a moment… that’s never going to happen.
“When it comes to extracting energy from the sun – profitably – silicon is just not up to the task.
“Unfortunately, as things stand today, 90% of the world’s solar cells are made from silicon.
“But here’s where things are about to change in a big way…
“There’s a new element – what I’ll call a ‘super crystal’ – that will soon replace silicon, and transform an industry.”
That was new to me, so I went digging to see what this “super crystal” might be… here’s a little more about that:
“As the scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory put it, this ‘super crystal’ has facets that ‘behave like billions of tiny solar cells, all connected in parallel.’
“MIT Technology Review says it will ‘far outperform silicon’.
“The World Economic Forum calls it a ‘wonder material’…
“Adding that it will, ‘transform the lives of 1.2 billion people.'”
So what he’s talking about there are Perovskite crystals, which have the theoretical potential to reach something like 30% efficiency in transforming sunlight into electricity according to this article (though that same article says “in development” Perovskite solar panels are at 20% efficiency)… and yes, that top end would be better than typical silicon solar cells — right now the “world record” for silicon-based solar panels is 24% efficiency, and several of the top companies can put out high-end panels that have 20-24% efficiency with various different techniques and technologies.
These Perovskite crystal cells can be made to be much thinner than conventional solar panels, and made more c cheaply with common materials, we’re told, and the maximum theoretical efficiency is much higher — so there seems ample reason to be testing out this newer Perovskite technology.
But what does that mean for us investors? Well, that’s when we get to the good part…
“There’s one little-known company at the center of it all…
“Right in the middle of what Navigant Research predicts will be a $134 billion market by 2020.
“Now, I just got word that no less than six executives at this company are using their own money to buy their company’s stock at market.”