Elon Musk claims at launch that two billion large batteries could provide enough electricity to meet the world’s needs
Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla Motors, announces the company’s
entry into the energy market
The electric car company Tesla has announced its entry into the energy market, unveiling a suite of low-cost solar batteries for homes, businesses and utilities, “the missing piece”, it said, in the transition to a sustainable energy world.
The batteries, which will retail at $3,500 in the US, were launched on Thursday at a Tesla facility in California by the company’s ambitious founder, Elon Musk, who heralded the technology as “a fundamental transformation [in] how energy is delivered across the earth”.
Wall-mounted, with a sleek design, the lithium-ion batteries are designed to capture and store up to 10kWh of energy from wind or solar panel. The reserves can be drawn on when sunlight is low, during grid outages, or at peak demand times, when electricity costs are highest.
The smallest “Powerwall” is 1.3m by 68cm, small enough to be hung inside a garage on or an outside wall. Up to eight batteries can be “stacked” in a home, Musk said, to applause from investors and journalists at the much-anticipated event.
The batteries will initially be manufactured at the electric car company’s factory in California, but will move production to its planned “gigafactory” in Nevada when it opens in 2017.
The Nevada facility will be the largest producer of lithium-ion batteries in the world, and it is hoped its mass-production scale will help to bring down costs even further.
It is not the only battery storage system on the market, but the Powerwall boasts a relatively high storage capacity, a competitive price, and the heft of investment and excitement generated by Musk’s vision.
The entrepreneur, who helped to invent the online payment system, PayPal, has also founded a private space company, Space X, and is experimenting with a high-speed public transportation system called Hyperloop.
Musk also unveiled a larger “Powerpack”, a 100kWh battery block to help utilities smooth out their supply of wind and solar energy - which is generated intermittently - or to pump energy into the grid when demand soars.
He said on Thursday about two billion Powerpacks could store enough electricity to meet the entire world’s needs. “That may seem like an insane number,” he said. “But this is actually within the power of humanity to do.”
Deutsche Bank estimates sales of battery storage systems for homes and businesses could yield as much as $4.5bn in revenue for Tesla. The energy storage industry is expected to grow to $19bn by 2017, according to research firm IHS CERA.
Tesla is currently taking orders for the systems, with the first units expected to shift in August.
Screenshot from YouTube user thegatesnotes
“… New ideas are things you never thought of. These ideas will be given to you so you will have answers to the most profound questions that your societies have had since you were born. Inventions will bring clean water to every Human on the planet, cheaply and everywhere. Inventions will give you power, cheaply and everywhere. These ideas will wipe out all of the reasons you now have for pollution, and when you look back on it, you'll go, "This solution was always there. Why didn't we think of that? Why didn't we do this sooner?" Because it wasn't time and you were not ready. You hadn't planted the seeds and you were still battling the old energy, deciding whether you were going to terminate yourselves before 2012. Now you didn't…. and now you didn't.
It's funny, what you ponder about, and what your sociologists consider the "great current problems of mankind", for your new ideas will simply eliminate the very concepts of the questions just as they did in the past. Do you remember? Two hundred years ago, the predictions of sociologists said that you would run out of food, since there wasn't enough land to sustain a greater population. Then you discovered crop rotation and fertilizer. Suddenly, each plot of land could produce many times what it could before. Do you remember the predictions that you would run out of wood to heat your homes? Probably not. That was before electricity. It goes on and on.
So today's puzzles are just as quaint, as you will see. (1) How do you strengthen the power grids of your great nations so that they are not vulnerable to failure or don't require massive infrastructure improvement expenditures? Because cold is coming, and you are going to need more power. (2) What can you do about pollution? (3) What about world overpopulation? Some experts will tell you that a pandemic will be the answer; nature [Gaia] will kill off about one-third of the earth's population. The best minds of the century ponder these puzzles and tell you that you are headed for real problems. You have heard these things all your life.
Let me ask you this. (1) What if you could eliminate the power grid altogether? You can and will. (2) What if pollution-creating sources simply go away, due to new ideas and invention, and the environment starts to self-correct? (3) Overpopulation? You assume that humanity will continue to have children at an exponential rate since they are stupid and can't help themselves. This, dear ones, is a consciousness and education issue, and that is going to change. Imagine a zero growth attribute of many countries - something that will be common. Did you notice that some of your children today are actually starting to ponder if they should have any children at all? What a concept! ….”