We’ve all all heard how the uptake of renewable energy (think solar and wind) is finally hitting the “insane button” mode for shaking up of dirty industries like automobile manufacturing and electricity production. Thanks to skyrocketing improvements in renewables generation, efficiency and technology affordably over the past 5 years the world is now in mass migration mode from gasoline to electric vehicles. But transitioning entire residential and city level energy generation infrastructures towards off the grid renewable energy sources? A painfully slow process. And a mission impossible according to energy boffins. Until now, that is.
In a bid to help wean the world off fossil fuels, Telsa’s CEO and founder Elon Musk, recently revealed Tesla Energy — a new arm of the business centred entirely on replacing residential and business dependence on grid power with a robust distributed renewable energy model. The offering? Tesla Powerwall. A comprehensive suite of solar charged batteries using Tesla’s existing technology for homes, businesses, and utilities, enabling households to run entirely on solar energy.
The business model will essentially completely disrupt the current dirty and less than resilient energy production and consumption paradigm. A world powered by distributed renewable energy may be an ambitious goal. But not one to be snuffed at. After all, this is Tesla we are talking about. And when the company makes signal that Tesla is not “just an automotive company, it’s an energy innovation company” it usually means it.
Musk’s insane (excuse the pun) track record and savoir-faire for not only developing sexy electric cars the world actually want to be seen in but just as importantly, investing heavily into an entire solar battery storage and technology infrastructure around this to fuel (yet another unintended pun!) them has already been pivotal in driving the mass migration to electric cars. And he’s capable of doing it all again for the home energy market.
The technical down low? Tesla’s Powerwall is a stationary rechargeable lithium-ion solar battery integrated with the local grid to harness excess power and give customers the flexibility to draw energy from their own reserve. It can be used for total household energy independence, or intermittently for residential level load shifting and backup power functionality during grid outages. Multiple batteries can be paired together at any one time allowing for stronger and more reliable power sources. Not only that, the Powerwall is beautifully designed with aesthetics in mind and mounts seamlessly on any way. In other words it’s going to look hot in your house. Tick!
Price and availability are the big draw-cards though. Costing $3,500 for 10kWh and $3,000 for 7kW Telsa’s Powerwall batteries are cheap! Essential for expediting residential renewable energy uptake globally. Compared to the price tag of Apple’s latest embarrassing invention – the Apple Watch, Powerwall is a killer deal for free household and clean energy. Plus with deliveries expected by summer’s end you’ve got access to all the free energy you need for the colder winter months.
According to Musk, once we are able to rely on renewable energy sources for our power consumption, the top 50% of the dirtiest power generation resources could retire early. We would have a cleaner, smaller, and more resilient renewable energy grid. Musk says the aim is to fundamentally change the way the world uses energy. “We’re talking at the terawatt scale. The goal is complete transformation of the entire energy infrastructure of the world.” A lofty ambition. Nonetheless, with Musk’s track record in turning the seemingly impossible dreams into reality, a global transition to renewable energy might just happen. And sooner than we think.