Wednesday, August 16, 2017 Investment

Last year, I made my first angel investment in a long time, in a company called GridX GmbH, headquartered in Aachen, Germany.

Germany is pretty unique in how much investment there has been in solar energy. Driving through some parts of Germany, you'll see solar installed on most rooftops. Combine that with offshore and onshore power from wind, and you'll see an unusual effect: Sometimes, there is so much renewable electricity being generated that the price of electricity falls below zero.

At the same time, a new enabling technology is entering the market: At-home energy storage. Tesla Powerwall is probably the best-known product out there, but batteries are actually a fairly commoditized business and there are many competing battery makers. Now you have power generation and power storage installed in homes, and now you have to connect dots: If energy prices are high and you're producing it or have it stored, you should be selling into the market. If energy prices are low or negative, you should be drawing power from the grid and storing it in the battery. This is essentially energy market arbitrage for homeowners.

GridX creates the connection between the battery owners and the energy market: Install their product called the "GridBox", connect it to your inverter, and watch the Euros roll in. GridX will sell electricity from your solar panels to the market at the optimal price point, and store electricity in your battery when there is economic opportunity.

There is, of course, the feel-good aspect of enabling carbon-neutral energy generation at scale. But the beautiful thing about GridX is their network effect: If enough GridBoxes are installed, all energy can be traded in their network, eliminating the need for any traditional nuclear and fossil fuel power plants.

If you live in Germany, you can order the GridBox today at

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