Renewable Energy Generation

Posted by Peter Liu October 1, 2015 Chairman, WI Harper Group

Energy is an important global need and is a critical factor fueling the development and competitiveness economies around the world along with technology and infrastructure. Moreover, we see a strong correlation worldwide between energy consumption and GDP per capita, as increased productivity and energy consumption drives the development of industries, nations, and livelihoods. At the same time, rapid industrial growth from China, India, Russia, Brazil and other emerging economies has been contributing to an increased global concern over pollution and climate change. To solve this predicament, we must look ever more toward alternative solutions and novel technologies in this global, multi-trillion dollar market.

The enthusiastic support and investments in various clean technologies in the last decades was commendable and has produced mixed success.  Efforts in renewable energy and energy conservation has made some contribution for cool earth.  Several countries today continue to explore alternatives to oil due to political or environmental reasons, and alternative energies such as solar, wind, and natural gas today represents a $1.3 trillion market despite tough cost competition from fossil fuels. For example, some of our investments include Maxic Technology, a leading LED driver company, Solar Power Inc, a leading international solar project developer, and CTC Technical Fabrics, a top supplier of fabrics for wind turbines. Even sometimes-controversial nuclear energy is nearing a $200 billion market due to the promise of efficient and greenhouse emission-free energy.

One potential energy source that has been less explored in recent years is the holy grail of nuclear fusion, which creates enormous quantities of energy when atoms combine. To illustrate its potential, one gram of fuel used in a fusion reaction can provide the same output as 10 tons of coal. A 100MW system powering over 100,000 homes for a year would only consume 20kg of fuel. Yet, large scale billion-dollar and multiple decades long international projects have yielded little in the way of practical results. However, just this year, three private fusion companies have raised sizable investments – and notable investors have been supporters in the space including Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen, Peter Thiel’s Mithril Capital Management, Invesco, NEA, Venrock, and the Malaysian Government. We too are looking at a company trying to turn the dream of fusion energy into reality.

My hope is that through ongoing advancements and technological improvements in energy across various sectors, we can begin to make grand visions such as these into a reality.

I urge us all to continue to work towards discovering and supporting new innovations that will sustain harmonious and prosperous growth for humanity.