Tesla Energy could solve an environmental issue, and also addresses a national security issue for the US and other countries whose military personnel are deployed to protect fuel interests in foreign lands. And the economics are very close to making sense, especially by the time Musk’s Gigafactory starts mass producing batteries in 2017.
The home battery device will cost $3,500 initially and will go on sale in the US later this year. Projections are that the roll out will continue internationally by 2016. The cost was the price to installers and did not include incentives.
Germany is eyed as a key market for the product — which is about 6 inches thick, 4 feet tall and 3 feet across — because it has among the highest take-up of solar energy in the world, Musk said.
In cooperation with Panasonic and other strategic partners, the Gigafactory will produce batteries for significantly less cost using economies of scale, innovative manufacturing, reduction of waste, and the simple optimization of locating most manufacturing process under one roof. We expect to drive down the per kilowatt hour (kWh) cost of our battery pack by more than 30 percent. The Gigafactory will also be powered by renewable energy sources, with the goal of achieving net zero energy, according to the Tesla website.
Undeveloped countries transformed
The obvious benefactors of the new technology could be under-developed regions of the world where electrical power is unavailable, unreliable or too expensive. Solar energy, however, is abundant everywhere and the challenge is capturing and storing it, which the new Tesla Powerwall could provide.
Musk compares the introduction of the home battery system to the advances made by wireless mobile phones. There are few areas in the world that do not have access to cellphones in the 21st Century, and they have become common place and affordable worldwide.
Not all residential markets work for energy storage
There will be challenges in individual US state markets. SolarCity founder and CTO Peter Rive suggested in a recent blog post, "Proceedings currently underway, such as the New York REV and California’s More than Smart, seek the creation of effective market structures for distributed clean energy services that will reward utilities for adopting cheaper, cleaner, customer-sited resources. The products that we’re announcing today are the building blocks of these new market structures." He added, "I believe the best grid design is one in which utilities embrace distributed energy resources. However, when utilities and regulators impose solar-specific charges on their customers, or burden homeowners with unduly long system interconnection delays, utilities risk mass customer defection from the grid via solar battery systems,” in Greentech Media.
Skeptics of innovative technology not new
In 2013 the 40th anniversary of the cell phone was celebrated. In 1973 a Motorola engineer named Marty Cooper made an historic call using the world's first cellphone, dialing a rival at AT&T from a hand-held mobile phone while standing on a sidewalk in New York City, just to prove he could.
Skepticism about the cellphone abounded setting obstacles that included technological, regulatory, and infrastructure hurdles, it was another decade before a Motorola executive made the first commercial wireless call on a Motorola DynaTAC phone, in October 1983. It wasn't until the 1990s, however, that handheld cellphones edged their way into mainstream popularity in the US and ultimately around the world.
The Tesla Powerwall will have similar challenges of acceptance and marketability as well, but the worldwide applications cannot be denied and like the mobile phone will continue to be refined and developed.
is retired and lives in Clearlake, California. She has three grown
children and one grandson and a Bachelor’s degree in Health Services
Administration from St. Mary’s College in Moraga California. On the
home front Dava enjoys time with her family, reading, gardening, cooking
Running a news based website is fun, time consuming and can be costly. If you would like to help the site keep afloat please use the donate button