January 06, 2017

Tesla: Now Powering Your Home

Lila Sevener, Solar Fellow

It is well known that the sun supplies significantly more than the amount of energy needed to power the Earth.

In fact, the sun’s rays hitting the Earth continuously provide over 35,000 times the amount of electricity society uses.

Harnessing and storing that solar energy has the potential to help mitigate global climate change by making clean energy accessible throughout all weather and times of day. Currently, only 2 percent of the energy in the United States comes from solar power. If the sun’s energy could be stored more efficiently, we could considerably increase that percentage and transition to a renewable energy future.

The availability of energy storage units that are affordable, reliable, and efficient for both commercial and residential projects has been a hurdle in the industry, but newer models that meet these needs are on the rise. This April, Tesla released a new battery for solar power called the Powerwall, which would allow solar owners to go off-grid. At $3,500 per 10kWh battery, storing power would be a viable option for many residential solar owners.

For larger scale systems, Tesla plans to offer the Powerpack, a 100kWh battery that can be scaled infinitely.

To put these numbers into perspective, it would take 2 billion Powerpacks to store enough energy for all of the heat, transport, and electricity needs in the world. In comparison, there are currently about 2 billion cars and trucks on the road worldwide with 100 million new ones being produced every year, proving that achieving this scale is possible.

Tesla is not the only company making strides with this technology. Daimler has also recently released both residential and industrial scale battery systems at competitive prices in Germany, with plans to expand to other markets.

As this market grows and the technology continues to advance, large scale battery storage production is becoming a viable solution to the energy crisis.