ClearVue’s solar window technology gains rapid traction, share price up 3x in 12 months
As the world races to meet critical climate targets, smart buildings could be one of the fastest paths to meeting net zero targets.
Buildings represent some 40% of global emissions, so decarbonising them could go a long way toward reducing our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
“The switch to more sustainably efficient buildings has begun, it won’t be achieved overnight, but it is a crucial step to take, particularly for businesses actively trying to achieve their own emissions goals,” Louise Monger of Schneider Electric told the AFR.
And as the global market for smart buildings witnesses significant growth, so does the demand for companies with the technology that can help reduce energy costs in buildings.
ASX-listed ClearVue Technologies (ASX:CPV) is one of the leading Australian companies in this space.
The company’s share price has tripled over the past year, making it one of the best small-capped Industrial stocks on the ASX.
“I think the share price seems to be reflecting the the market’s recognition of what we’ve done over the last six months, and also our strategy going forward,” said ClearVue’s CEO, Martin Deil.
“We’ve clearly laid out a roadmap, and we’re delivering to that roadmap.”
ClearVue’s flagship product is the integrated glazing unit or IGU, a novel technology that enables windows on buildings to not only generate, but also conserve electricity at the same time.
“Essentially, we can generate electricity from a clear glass,” explained Deil. “Any glass unit can be placed in a building with our technology, and then you can generate electricity through that glass.”
How it works is that the IGU technology is first inserted between two panes of glass in a building window.
“We incorporate nanoparticles in the glass that deflect the energy of the sun, the solar radiation, and disperse it to the edges of the glass where we embed solar cells that pick up the energy, and turn it into electricity.
“So we generate electricity, we harvest electricity, but at the same time, we also conserve electricity because that sun radiation, particularly the infrared which is the warm part of the rays, we don’t let into the buildings,” Deil told Stockhead.
This means that buildings equipped with Clearvue’s technology have reduced cooling load.
“You therefore need less power to drive the air conditioning units, which obviously provides building owners a tangible path to net zero buildings.”
Recently, the company demonstrated that its 2nd Generation IGU can be produced at mass-scale on an unmodified industry-standard production line.
“This means that we can produce at very high volume with very little time added, which of course, makes it a commercially viable product,” said Deil.
“If you can’t scale a product, you’re never going to be able to offer a commercially competitive solution.”
“We’ve fitted our technology to a greenhouse that’s been up and running since 2021, and we’ve been gathering very important data from that for two years now.
“The data shows that we’re increasing crop yields in the greenhouse, even quite substantially for some particular plant.
“So if you imagine, a greenhouse equipped with our technology would not only generate electricity, but it would also have an increased crop yield – which is a great, great result for the the growers.”
The company has also developed in-house applications and tools which can model the commercial paybacks, including carbon paybacks.
“For example, the greenhouse project that we secured in California has a payback period of around three and a half years, in terms of return on investment,” said Deil. “And then others might range up to say, 15 years.”
“But it’s not only the commercial aspect, though, because we are well positioned to benefit from the green energy mandates that require buildings to become net zero.
“And we have obviously the solution to enable developers to arrive at these goals that are set by policy makers. So it’s not a matter of option for them, it’s a matter of must.”
Deil also emphasised that solar is a very reliable source of energy.
“Obviously, it has to be combined with power storage, because clearly during the night you’re not going to generate electricity.
“But I absolutely believe that solar is very much the way forward. Statistics and the current government policy settings show that solar in combination with the relevant power storage is absolutely the way to go,” said Deil.
The solar market for buildings could grow even bigger from here. Current data shows that the market is worth about US$20 billion today, with an expected growth rate of around 15 to 20% per annum.
“That data doesn’t even include technology like ours that is only coming online now.
“So absolutely, no question – solar will be with us for a long, long time, and will only grow.”
Looking ahead, ClearVue says it will be looking to expand further after securing recent contracts in the US, Southeast Asia, and Africa.
“We’re obviously still a small company, but we’re growing fast and have quite an interesting global footprint,” said Deil.
On Wednesday, the company announced that it has secured its first Australian solar windows order after signing up CFMEU.
The CFMEU (Construction, Forestry and Maritime Employees Union) will incorporate the Generation 2 ClearVuePV solar windows into the façade of its new Training and Wellness Centre in Carlton, Melbourne – making it the first project in Australia to specify ClearVue’s unique solar glazing technology from the outset.
“This is a significant milestone for ClearVue as we have now commercially launched in Australia,” said Deil.
“We are also seeing a lot of interest from various companies wanting to speak to us.
“So watch this space, because the next 12 months will be really transformational for us.”