We know that renewable energy, such as that provided by SolarCity solar panel installations, is only useful as long as the sun is shining, which is where Tesla batteries come in.
In fact, Tesla batteries are already being offered with some SolarCity residential solar power installations in California, hopefully nationwide next year, but the plan goes much further than that. The Tesla gigafactory, which should be up and running by the end of the decade, are going to significantly reduce the price of lithium-ion battery technology. A combination of the economies of scale and some possible dabbling in graphene will also increase energy density of future Tesla batteries.
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk said, in a private conference, “…within 10 years every solar system that SolarCity sells will come with a battery-storage system, says Mr. Rive, and it will still produce energy cheaper than what is available from the local utility company.” The Tesla gigafactory is expected to produce, on its own, at least as much as all the world’s lithium-ion battery companies are already producing today. Imagine, every single SolarCity solar panel installation with Tesla battery backup power. Could Morgan Stanley have been right? Will Tesla disrupt the way we get our energy?
Not only will future SolarCity installations have Tesla battery backup energy storage, but the systems themselves are expected to be more efficient, as well. Take, for example, SolarCity’s recent acquisition of Silevo, which produces solar panels with a unique blend of characteristics: Silevo’s solar panels are more efficient and less expensive. Silevo’s solar panel technology is 24% efficient, which makes overall systems either more powerful, or cheaper, depending on which way you look at it. Elon Musk’s onward march to develop (and control?) the generation, storage, and usage (solar-powered electric vehicles?) of renewable energy continues!
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