Welcome to Nightpixels, a visual blog about investing, business, and technology.

Nightpixels is published each week by Nightview Capital Research Analyst Cameron Tierney. Follow him here on X and Linkedin.

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    Permanent magnets are getting better, helping to enable the commercialization of electric transport

    This chart presents historical trends in the maximum energy product of permanent magnets from 1910 to 2010. The graph shows significant advancements in magnet technology, particularly with the introduction of NdFeB magnets in the 1980s, which marked a substantial increase in energy product. This development is notable because it has enabled more efficient and powerful electronic devices and motors, contributing to advancements in the commercialization of electric transport. Electric vehicles require high torque electric motors.


    Solar has eclipsed all other electricity generation technologies in annual investment

    Solar PV investment has significantly increased, now consistently outpacing the investment in other technologies. The chart depicts global annual investment in solar photovoltaic (PV) technology compared to other electricity generation technologies over the last decade. The trend in growing solar investment underscores the growing shift towards renewable energy sources, driven by declining solar panel costs and economics. The data highlights how solar energy is becoming the dominant force in new electricity generation investments, reflecting its critical role in the transition to sustainable energy.


    Recent commercialization of SiC and GaN power transistors is driving electrification

    Over time, transistors have increased in power output and speed, enabling increased electrification of everything. The chart illustrates the power output and operating frequency of different types of power transistors, namely Silicon (Si), Silicon Carbide (SiC), and Gallium Nitride (GaN). SiC transistors are shown to handle higher power applications like wind turbines and railways, while GaN transistors excel in high-speed applications such as data centers and computing applications. This comparison highlights the specialization of materials in power electronics, where SiC and GaN offer distinct advantages over traditional silicon, leading to more efficient and versatile power management solutions.


    Investment in power grids is trending up following a local decline

    After trending down from 2017 to 2020, global investment in power grids and energy storage is on the rise again. The data reveal a steady increase in investments, with significant contributions from the United States, China, and Europe. Possible culprits for the increased investment include the AI boom and broader data center build-out, as well as increased energy needs of electric transport and expanded electrification in general. This investment trend reflects the ongoing global commitment to modernize energy systems to meet future demands and sustainability goals.


    China’s battery prowess has enabled low-cost economics for electrification

    This chart compares the share of battery supply chain production (anode, cathode, and cells) among different global regions. China dominates the market. The country’s share of the supply chain has enabled low-cost batteries to proliferate globally, leading to a budding electric transport and energy storage marketplace. The chart also underscores the need for other regions, particularly Europe and North America, to strengthen their battery manufacturing capabilities to reduce dependency and ensure energy security.