Wind and solar power have come a long way in the last few years and renewable energies now make up around 22% of all the electricity that is created. The one thing that has been holding them back however has been their transience. The sun doesn’t shine during the night and the wind doesn’t really blow constantly all year round so this has stopped renewable energy in its tracks to some extent.
Renewable power tycoon Elon Musk however has been blown away by this situation. He then decided to introduce his own product, the Powerwall. This is a wall mounted solution that can store up to 10KW of energy at any one time, and it can also deliver 2KW on average. This product retails at $3,500USD.
When this is translated into the price of energy itself, you would be looking at $500USD per KWh but that is also including the installation and inverter. This works out as 6 cents per KWh for the average householder so in reality the domestic system would still come out on top when compared to coal power that is delivered through a conventional energy grid.
Musk is now building batteries at a gigafactory that is just across the border from California. At the moment, he isn’t waiting for any new technology, but he is trying to upscale lithium batteries that he is using for his electrical vehicles at the moment.
Not just for homes
Now however, fossil fuel companies such as coal miners and coal burning companies will be on the defense. They will be trying to fight cheaper, renewable energy sources.
The Tesla Energy system was launched a week ago but it did have some global ramifications. The Powerwall offers 10KWh and it is targeted at domestic users. It is also complimented by a full commercial system which has 100KWh of storage. You can stack 100 of these units together and this forms a 10 megawatt storage unit so there are certainly many benefits available.
Communities could have these grid systems installed, and with the super competitive price, it isn’t a far-fetched reality. Musk has even stated that the US power grid could be replicated in its entirety and all you need is 160 million of these units to do it. Two billion could provide enough power for the entire world, so it really is a life changing invention.
The revolution begins
If you think about it putting these numbers into context, there are currently 2 billion cars in the world and 100 million are being added every single year. It is also possible to build storage units that would make these exhaust pumping machines unnecessary, and Musk has stated that this is exactly what he plans to do.
Musk would not be alone in his quest however, China is starting to become the world’s renewable energy supplier and they already have the largest collection of wind based power.
There are already companies such as BYD who plan to make their own energy storage units. These would be based on lithium ion technology and they would also be available for both domestic and commercial use.
No going back
Government in Australia should be looking to ride this new wave of technology by promoting AU renewable technology as a source of income in their post-fossil fuel era.
Finally however, we would be able to move beyond Australia in terms of carbon tax, and China has already given many of us a huge lesson in the way of business. They have started to build and design their own energy industries, importing technology from around the world as well as improving it to meet the ever growing standards of consumers.
Musk and Tesla however are now undertaking a task which will put them one more step forward. They plan to encompass storage as well as the idea of renewable energy, and from this point on, there really is no going back.
This just goes to show how far we have come and that if we don’t start looking after our own environment, there won’t be one left. Still, these new inventions could change the world as we know it and it is incredible to think that it could have such an impact on the way we live.