President & CEO Ron Macdonald Explains:
Ron is President and CEO of Vancouver-based Zinc8 Energy Solutions, a company determined to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable, secure, and resilient energy sources by providing low cost, long-duration energy storage solution.
In case, like myself, you know little about zinc-air batteries before, these are metal-air batteries powered by oxidizing zinc with oxygen from the air. They have high energy densities and are relatively inexpensive to produce. But Zinc8 have turned them into something far more disruptive.
Ron told me “I have never been involved in anything that excites him as much as Zinc8 – and he has had a pretty exciting life”.
Ron’s early career was as President and CEO of The Council of Forest Industries, a Canadian lumber group for which he developed new markets in India, Japan, Korea, and China.
Ron also went into the political arena and held many international roles within the Parliament of Canada. He was the M.P. for Halifax, Nova Scotia from 1988 to 1997, and during this time, he became Parliamentary Secretary of International Trade.
He also served as President of NRStor Remote Communities and Mines among more recent appointments, focused on partnering off-grid Indigenous communities and mines to develop renewable energy and energy storage projects.
I found him to be a man who is proud of his country and passionate about renewable energy. He has been leading Zinc8 since January 2019.
The world is desperate for environmentally friendly and efficient power solutions and Zinc8 is showing themselves to be a leader. The company trades in Canada on the CSE.
Its current success (and exceptionally bright future) is all the more incredible given its less than glorious past. It was founded in 1995 in Silicon Valley, creating batteries intended for automobile and telecom backup applications, and in 2004, it was acquired by Teck Resources, one of the largest mining company. In 2013, Teck reinstated the development and the company was then called ZincNyx. ZincNyx since then has completely reinvented the technology to adopt the market, who has been demanding energy storage systems to enable full market penetration for renewable energies.
Unlike the U.S., there is little start-up funding in Canada, so this still held the company back. Teck looked at this offshoot company that wasn’t at market stage with concern when mining hit a bad patch and all funding scarce. They discovered that the batteries didn’t even need much zinc to run, meaning their offshoot would never become the customer they had envisaged. £5m a year was looking like a terrible investment. As things tottered on, the end of the line seemed inevitable.
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