The keynote is a great example of Elon’s first principles-based approach to solving the world’s sustainable energy problem. He first states the problem that carbon dioxide emissions are fast rising to levels which are dangerous for the earth’s existence. He then describes what he believes is the best solution which is solar energy. This is because the sun’s energy is free and doesn’t harm the earth. However, the sun doesn’t shine all the time so we need to store the excess energy it produces during sunny days for use during the night and days when the sun isn’t out. This requires batteries and current batteries fall short on many dimensions like cost, reliability, and longevity.
Tesla Energy is the brand name behind Tesla’s new battery solutions. The $3,500 Powerwall is for home use and the Powerpack is for industrial use. The batteries take any form of energy as an input and let you store it. Since storage technology produces a larger benefit for solar energy than other energy forms, solar will likely get the greatest uplift in usage from the improved battery.
We’ll only be able to test how well this new battery works and its resulting cost effectiveness when it hits the market this summer. But if the performance of Tesla cars gives any indication, we’re in for a treat.