Globally and domestically, there is a growing demand for clean energy, with some polls finding that 85% of people across the political spectrum favor accelerating clean energy development in their state. This appetite for clean energy is being matched by supply, with Wood Mackenzie projecting massive growth in clean energy and energy storage in the coming years.
One of the companies leading the world toward greater energy storage is California-based Stem Inc. Stem addresses today’s complex energy market by using its world-class AI system—named Athena—to create dynamic energy storage solutions. These solutions allow customers to switch between battery power, onsite generation, and grid power seamlessly. With projects across the country, Stem is truly one of the leaders in energy storage technology today.
Yesterday, John Carrington, CEO of Stem, joined Drew Bond on Facebook Live as a part of the newly launched Tech Voices series. Tech Voices highlights a growing list of impressive entrepreneurs and innovators in the private sector advancing clean energy and climate solutions.
A natural businessman, Carrington joined Stem after 16 years with GE and a shorter stint with First Solar, which Carrington says “started [his] affinity toward the renewable space.” After First Solar, Carrington became CEO at Miasolé which led him to Stem shortly after.
Carrington has led the company to impressive growth over his eight years. When he started, Carrington estimates that Stem had about six sites in its portfolio; today, that number is over 950. Stem’s revenue may hit over $150 million this year, up from less than $1 million eight years ago.
While Stem’s past successes are impressive, the company is focused on its future and what that future holds for grid resiliency. While some opponents of renewables point to intermittency issues as a reason not to embrace solar, Carrington believes that energy storage will ultimately solve this problem:
“[S]torage is an ideal and optimal solution [to intermittency issues] we believe. Number one, it’s very strategic where you place it; number two: it’s highly responsive. We can call on our assets instantaneously and provide support to the grid,” which Carrington points out gives energy storage a leg up on gas-powered peak power plants.
In terms of where the energy storage market is going next, Carrington believes that lithium-ion will still be king:
“We’re long on lithium-ion batteries. We still think that that massive install base is probably the technology that will continue to carry the day.”
Carrington also pointed to many of the roadblocks of newer storage technologies:
“When you think about the early days of solar, I ran one of these companies, Miasolé, which had very compelling new technology. It was hard because China, First Solar, and other modular manufactures had such a leg up from a bankability standpoint, and I think that you’re going to run into the same thing with some of these battery technologies.”
Regardless of what technologies emerge in the storage space, Carrington and his team at Stem will remain competitive because they can integrate their Athena AI technology into any possible system.
With the growing push for clean energy, it is encouraging to see American innovators such as John Carrington and his team at Stem leading the way to a cleaner energy future. As this space continues to grow, it is apparent that Stem will be a clean energy leader for years to come.
Watch the full interview here.