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Can Batteries Solve The Energy Crisis?

Is Tesla's 'Powerwall' the answer?

27Aug

The future global economy will put unprecedented strain on energy demands, as developing nations - such as India and China - become increasingly industrialised.

This has caused many to fear that before long - 2088 if you’re to believe the CIA’s World Factbook - the world’s fossil fuel reserves will run out, which in turn will threaten to damage what has been the life blood of modern civilisation.

There have, of course, been a number of potential solutions put forward. Solar power was heavily invested in at the turn of the decade. And after a number of years of being confined to the roofs of environmentally-conscious millionaires, they’ve slowly become commonplace. The Telegraph, for example, noted that solar panels are now widespread across Britain, coinciding with the cost of installing a 4kW solar panel falling to around £6500.

Yet whenever any form of solar energy is discussed, the same doubts continually arise. With solar panels, the most common of these is that they don’t work at night. With wind power, it’s that the wind doesn’t always blow. There is truth to both these arguments. Solar enthusiasts, however, would argue that the energy generated by panels throughout the day is more than enough to keep a household going for 24 hours at least, while the detractors label this as just another inconvenient feature of green technologies.

But moving to green energy is no longer optional. The uneasiness surrounding the industry continues to be of concern, especially as a number of renewable energy devices have fallen by the wayside in recent years. From a commercial perspective, however, green technology remains a risky market to get involved in. Despite this, Tesla Motors - the iconic American automotive brand - have made a serious leap into the market. Unveiled at the start of May, the ‘Tesla Powerwall’ has been touted as the solution to all our energy problems and as ‘disruptive to the energy industry as the cellphone has been to telecommunications’

The Powerwall is without doubt an important step towards a clean-emery future. Solar energy currently accounts for 1% of the world’s total energy needs, yet in 14 years time, it will need to make up every last bit of it. Tesla’s ‘battery’ will give homes and businesses the ability to receive power off a grid, even if they’re in remote areas. The battery’s also relatively cheap - costing around £2000 - and is ‘plug and play’ meaning, that households should be able to use it without too much hassle.

Tesla Energy, the branch tasked with creating the Powerwall, is close to turning over $1 billion in revenue. With Elon Musk, the company’s CEO, adamant that clean-energy products should be central to Tesla’s strategy moving forward, meaning that they could well have an important role to play in turning the entire globe to Solar energy. With this in mind, the Powerwall is likely to be the start of a long-line of Tesla produced clean-energy products, which could be essential when the world’s fossil fuel reserves finally dry out.

Alone, the Powerwall can only do so much. Tesla’s intentions, however, are clear, and that in itself could be the key to solving the world’s energy crisis.

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