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John Petersen

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  • Understanding End-User Markets For Grid-Scale Energy Storage [View article]
    It's an immense problem that I don't know how to resolve. If somebody advocating a long position in a stock engaged in conduct that came anywhere near the kind of speculation, conjecture and innuendo the shorts rely on in concerted attacks, they'd be facing a regulatory inquiry in a heartbeat. I don't understand why sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gander.
    Dec 26 11:22 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 37: Beginning Dec. 24, 2011 [View instapost]
    My father-in-law has always been fascinated with the Mobius Strip. I don't know if anybody else has considered the possibility, but if you really want to turn your brain into a pretzel imagine a plastic or metal extrusion with a square cross-section. Now bend it into a ring and give it a quarter twist in either direction and weld the two ends together.

    I think you end up with a single surface.
    Dec 26 11:11 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Understanding End-User Markets For Grid-Scale Energy Storage [View article]
    The real problem at the end of the day is that reputations are like feather pillows and once somebody slices one open, you'll never get all of the feathers stuffed back in. I can't imagine anybody spending $35 million on a due diligence investigation, but if the stakes are big enough I suppose a high profile investigator with a big reputation can charge whatever the market will bear.
    Dec 26 10:45 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Understanding The Grid-Scale Energy Storage Boom [View article]
    I'm deadly serious about that invitation. It really didn't occur to me that you might have stumbled across this blog for the first time and not understood the history. I've been writing about energy storage investing for three and a half years now and sometimes mistakenly assume that everybody who's really interested in the sector already knows me. My complete historical archive is available here http://bit.ly/pYHjyh

    The bottom line is I'm a lawyer and an accountant with significant experience in corporate finance and the battery industry, but my experience is all on the business side and I frequently encounter technical discussions that quickly spiral out of my depth. At that point I have to rely on a crew of faithful readers who know more than me about the technical aspects are willing to share their expertise and experience to help make us all better investors.
    Dec 26 10:15 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Understanding End-User Markets For Grid-Scale Energy Storage [View article]
    I prefer pieces like this one for holiday's because readers generally have more time to puzzle things through and think at their leisure. I'm glad you shared part of your holiday with me.
    Dec 26 10:05 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Understanding End-User Markets For Grid-Scale Energy Storage [View article]
    I'm not sure how much spare capacity there is in existing UPS systems because they've traditionally been designed and sized to meet the reasonably anticipated needs of a particular user.

    As I understand the emerging business dynamic, a system owner contracts with an aggregator like Enbala or Viridity to optimize the value of the system within operational parameters established by the owner. At that point system sizing and capacity become a multi-variable optimization calculation where you're trying to maximize the direct and indirect benefit streams for a particular enterprise.

    When you're planning a new plant scale backup system and the choices are a dedicated facility that costs X or a multi-use facility that costs Y but throws off annual revenue of Z, it's an opportunity.
    Dec 26 10:04 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Understanding End-User Markets For Grid-Scale Energy Storage [View article]
    There's nothing I'd like better than to see ABAT splash out a couple hundred grand to pay for a credible due diligence investigation from somebody of recognized standing who'll put their name on the line and report what they learned. I'd take that kind of engagement in a heart-beat and by the time I was done I'd know for sure whether there was any substance to the trash talk. Currently I find myself in a position where I want to believe, but think somebody credible has to do an in person feet on the ground investigation before I can encourage somebody else to believe.
    Dec 26 09:52 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Understanding End-User Markets For Grid-Scale Energy Storage [View article]
    I suppose it depends on how you want to define the term investor. My entire career has been built on investing my cash directly in companies I know inside out and eventually re-selling the shares I bought from a company into the public markets. I've suffered a couple complete losses over the last 20 years, but most of my investments yield VC+ upsides because I know way more than the average VC when I make them. I'm less comfortable in the public markets which are subject to too many extrinsic forces including emotion, geopolitics, hype and the herd instinct. Given a choice I want my investment to make a difference on an issuer's balance sheet.

    I'd watch A123 real close and maybe even keep a 10 or 20 percent trailing stop loss, but management seems to be getting serious about finding real markets and everything I've read says they make a fine product. So I think it's probably a pretty good speculation. I don't buy any of the silver bullet battery trash talk, but there are a lot of applications where nothing but lithium will do.
    Dec 26 09:32 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Understanding End-User Markets For Grid-Scale Energy Storage [View article]
    In my line of work diversification comes from new clients where I can develop an encyclopedic understanding of their business and industry before putting my money at risk. I'm the ultimate information junkie because I don't know any other way to invest. So while I am diversifying, I'm not doing so in the manner your question implies.
    Dec 26 09:03 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Understanding End-User Markets For Grid-Scale Energy Storage [View article]
    ACPW is just coming out of the valley of death and has been ramping sales steadily for a couple years now. I think expectations got a little ahead of themselves earlier in the year and a flat third quarter dampened enthusiasm a bit. The decline, however, has been way overblown and they're making a lot of progress in the ultra high end UPS market for data centers and the like. Like Axion it's not a stock that one can analyze from traditional valuation metrics because it's still an immature company, but the upside potential vs downside risk dynamic is favorable at current prices.
    Dec 26 08:45 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 37: Beginning Dec. 24, 2011 [View instapost]
    I suspect that cooperation from Axion would be hard to get because as soon as they start to cooperate or participate in a website like the one Bang's proposing or Concentrators like this one, they run the risk of being held responsible for the content. I do my best to avoid conversations with Axion for that reason and when we do talk it's generally because I know where deep archive data is that they need to access. That makes our communications pretty one sided. They ask historical questions and I point them to old documents.
    Dec 26 08:17 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Understanding End-User Markets For Grid-Scale Energy Storage [View article]
    It's trading in the high $0.60s now, which is far too low. It's due for another run any time now.
    Dec 26 08:10 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Understanding End-User Markets For Grid-Scale Energy Storage [View article]
    You're a braver man than me when it comes to investing in Chinese companies, but I know just enough about Asian culture to understand that I don't know squat about Asian culture. That understanding alone is enough to scare me away.

    I tend to agree that AONE is way down in the bargain range and your buy at $1.54 may be a long-term bottom, but then again I've been arguing the stock was undervalued since last April. http://bit.ly/r8L4of

    My tracking charts look like AONE is turning a corner, but will probably need another week for confirmation. Another one you may want to look at is ACPW which also seems to be turning a corner.
    Dec 26 05:36 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 2012 Market Outlook: 'Wear Sunscreen' [View article]
    Many thanks for a wonderful contemplation piece. I'd probably add "life is short so eat desert first."
    Dec 26 04:32 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Understanding End-User Markets For Grid-Scale Energy Storage [View article]
    If you think in terms of server farms and continuous process fab plants their power quality and reliability investments are immense because even a little surge can cost an incredible amount of money. A while back, a flash memory plant in Japan lost about $100 million in production from a power outage that lasted for about a tenth of a second.

    To the extent that an owner of a power protected facility can use his on-site backup and power quality system for ancillary services without jeopardizing it's primary function, I have to believe he'll do so.
    Dec 26 02:37 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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