Tesla's Renewable Energy Lessons To The Enterprise

by CXOtoday News Desk    May 04, 2015


Tesla seems determined to change the world with its renewable energy drive. The company’s chief executive Elon Musk announced the development of a new standalone battery with unique features that enables the storage of renewable clean energy. Powerpack, as the new battery is called, is a lithium-ion battery that goes mounted on the wall, with a 7-10 kilowatts rechargeable storage capacity and will be , said a company statement. 

The company has also roped in some of the biggest names to supply them with the new technology. Both Amazon and Target are rolling out pilot programs that will use Tesla’s 100 kWh battery blocks, said a Verge report.

Energy experts are convinced that Tesla’s battery will soon become a commodity used in many households and companies.  Some also believe Tesla’s new product fits perfectly within Musk’s vision on renewable energy, which already includes the Solar City.  

While Tesla is not the first company exploring this path, as there are others who offer similar batteries, it has the means to implement large scale production of the device, all at a relatively low cost. Parts needed to assemble the battery can easily be obtained by the company thanks to its car business, and the Gigafactory will enable Tesla to manufacture the batteries faster and in greater numbers than anyone else.

The other feature to note is that the battery enables the storage of renewable solar energy even when the sun is not shining.Tesla has kept this in mind specifically because even though solar and wind plants can provide electricity, the supply is not always consistent, causing them to over- and under-produce at certain times. Tesla says its Powerpacks help “firm up” this generation of energy from renewable sources, storing excess electricity from a range of sources until it’s needed. 

There is no doubt that renewables are finally becoming a globally significant source of power, according to a United Nations Environment Programme report released in March by Frankfurt School UNEP Centre and Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Renewables such as wind, solar and biomass generated an estimated 9.1% of the world’s electricity in 2014, up from 8.5% in 2013, according to the report. In developing countries, where renewables are best positioned to address the chronic lack of energy access, clean energy investment rose 36% to $131bn. It’s well on track to surpass investment in developed countries, which amounted to $139bn last year.

When it came to investment, China led with $83bn in clean energy funding, but many other countries followed closely behind. Some of the most promising states – like Brazil, India and South Africa – are expected to lead the way. Others, like Kenya, which boasts one of the largest solar rooftop system on the continent and shortly the largest wind farm, are more of a surprise.

The storage of renewable energy is an area of interest for many enterprises. If huge companies and electricity providers continue to adopt the new tech, it could help kickstart a shift toward renewable energy sources, with Musk’s fields of batteries acting as buffers.