The Morgan Report Blog

When Robert Friedland Talks Vanadium, I Pay Full Attention

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May 8, 2017 by John Lee, CFA (https://twitter.com/johnlee25893955?lang=en)

Mr. Robert Friedland is the recipient of the 2017 Northern Miner’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and when the legendary mining billionaire offered his rare insights on vanadium in a recent interview with The Northern Miner, I paid my full attention. Mr. Friedland stated:

“We think there’s a revolution coming in vanadium redox flow batteries,” he says. “You’ll have to get into the mining business and produce ultra-pure vanadium electrolyte for those batteries on a massive scale.

We’re very deeply interested in how you store electrical energy in the grid.

The beauty of the vanadium redox battery is that you can charge and discharge it at the same time, something that can’t be done with a lithium battery. With a vanadium redox flow battery, you can put solar power and wind power into the battery, and you can put excess grid power into the battery at night, and at the same time you can have a stable output into the grid.”

Like Mr. Friedland, I favor the fundamentals of vanadium, which is embarking on a stealthy run in price that very few exploration and mining investors and commodities observers have yet noticed. Below are charts of vanadium (vanadium pentoxide or V2O5) price and the stock price of two companies active in vanadium, an exploration company and a mining company to illustrate this stealthy run.

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Highlights:

1. Mr. Robert Friedland received the 2017 Northern Miner’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and talked about vanadium in a recent interview with The Northern Miner

2. “We think there’s a revolution coming in vanadium redox flow batteries,” Mr. Friedland says. “You’ll have to get into the mining business and produce ultra-pure vanadium electrolyte for those batteries on a massive scale.

3. “With a vanadium redox flow battery (VRB), you can put solar power and wind power into the battery, and you can put excess grid power into the battery at night”

4. Wind and solar energy have now lowest levelized cost of all commercial energy sources, an unthinkable proposition only a few years ago.

5. If solar and wind energy capacity sustains an annual compounded growth rate of 10%, the world would generate about 20% (from the current 6%) of its electricity from those resources by 2030.

6. Indeed, with the capacity of solar and wind energy increasing and enhanced by VRBs and efficient long distance transmission interconnectors, the future capacity and deployment of wind and solar energy is practically limitless and the levelized cost will further decrease.

7. Given that there are no vanadium strategic stockpiles , any increase in vanadium redox flow battery demand will cause an increase in vanadium price.

 

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