Groundbreaking Company Set to Shake Up Energy Industry
From electric cars to blazing-fast transcontinental Maglev railway, online payments to solar leasing, Elon Musk thinks big. His company, Tesla, has already made substantial inroads at making electric cars not just desirable, but lust-worthy.
Now, the billionaire entrepreneur has set his sights on shaking up the energy industry with a new battery design. The battery has already been tested in California by a lucky group of 230 homeowners, and those who have made comments have been quite positive about the results.
What could this new development mean for the solar industry?
Still Tied to the Power Companies
One of the most common misconceptions about going solar is that it completely eliminates dependence on the utility-owned power grid. While that can be the case, it most often isn’t.
The vast majority of solar-powered homes are still tied to the grid, due largely to the fact that the batteries needed to store the electricity generated by solar panels are costly, cumbersome, and fairly maintenance-intensive.
So, most homeowners opt to use solar for part of their power needs, and to draw current from the utility when their solar arrays aren’t producing enough energy to power their homes.
It’s not entirely bad for solar enthusiasts: in many cases, they’re even able to take credits for unused energy. Still, eliminating dependence on the power grid altogether does have a certain appeal.
The Tesla Battery: A Big Improvement
According to early reports, Tesla’s new battery will be well within the realm of affordability for the average consumer. It’s said to be noiseless and maintenance-free, and the company plans to sell multiple versions of the battery, with different aesthetic styles and capacities available.
The battery will feature smart device connectivity for remote power management and monitoring, and will accept power from a variety of sources. It will also be able to feed electricity back into the grid.
Is Off-Grid Living on the Horizon?
If Elon Musk has his way, his battery could become a staple for solar adopters, many of whom are fed up with outages, lackluster customer service, and only-game-in-town indifference.
It could also spur more widespread adoption of solar technology. Some potential solar clients find themselves disappointed when they learn that going solar won’t completely eliminate their dependence on the local utility. For these consumers, the new battery could represent a tipping point.
Tesla’s new battery could also provide a practical and affordable renewable energy storage solution for utilities in search of efficient ways to store power, regardless of its source. Many traditional electricity providers are busily searching for ways to make their offerings more appealing to carbon-conscious customers, and being able to store clean energy for times when solar power production slows could be a boon for them as well.
[Photo Via: WA Post]