Investor Targets Local Energy Storage For Smart Grid’s Last Mile Dilemma

February 16, 2011  source: peHUB

Remember the Internet’s last mile dilemma? The smart grid may have its own a last mile difficulties.

High costs and immature technologies could leave consumers short of power and utilities with few options to deliver it. Both dilemmas will restrict the nation’s ability to manage power in an age of climate change. It’s enough to make an investor salivate.

Nat GoldhaberNat Goldhaber, managing director at Claremont Creek Ventures, says local may be ideal solution to the problem. And he would like to put money to work.

The trouble is it’s not easy to find companies in the space. The entrepreneurial community isn’t yet focusing much attention on the task.

I may not find the right company to make an investment,” he says of the current investment climate. “But it is the one thing that always makes my ears perk up.”

The Internet’s last mile is often the low speed link in the chain because of the relatively slow connection speed of dial-up service, DSL modems and even cable modems. This funnel restricts what consumers can send and receive on the Internet. The smart grid is likely to run into a similar challenge as electric cars and home proliferate. The cars will draw more power than local transformers can deliver and solar requires a smart network able to manage two-way traffic.

If energy can be stored locally – perhaps in a battery inside a homeowner’s garage or in a larger battery positioned in a neighborhood, power is available where it is consumed – within the last mile. It doesn’t need to travel as far.

Goldhaber (pictured) continues to talk with university students about alternative battery technologies and is on the verge of an investment in a company with battery management technology. He declined to name the startup, but says its products will manage the output of cells in a battery pack.

But he says the technology that will win in the local storage space is too hard to determine at this point. That makes local storage an interesting bet that hasn’t yet been made.

see the original article at: peHUB