Tesla’s battery for the home, Powerwall, headed for Australia.
Tesla Motors, the clean energy innovators responsible the most advanced electric cars on the planet have just announced something big. In their ongoing mission to save the world from emissions, Tesla motors have recently announced that they will be manufacturing affordable batteries to power your home that allow you to efficiently store electricity and reduce your peak load on the grid.
What is the Tesla Powerwall?
The Tesla Powerwall is a large, lithium-ion home battery that is charged by solar energy. Measuring at, roughly, 1.2 metres wide, and 2.1 metres high, the Tesla Powerwall is encased in a simple, yet stylish shell– as you’d expect from Tesla. In most domestic households, peak hours for energy usage are during the morning and of an evening. What the Tesla Powerwall does is store electricity, generated by rooftop solar panels, that can be used to lighten the load during peak hours.
The home battery will even power your basic home appliances during a blackout (especially appealing to those who experienced prolonged power outages over the April storms). The battery will be available in two sizes, the 7 kWh and 10 kWh, which are priced at $3000 USD and $3500 USD, respectively. It will be a little while until we find out official Australian pricing, but it’s estimated the Tesla Powerwall will retail for around a third of the price of current home battery offerings.
What does this mean for Australian consumers?
A whole lot actually. In case you hadn’t realised, Australian consumers pay through the nose for their energy with electricity prices as high as 30c/kWh in some areas (the US averaged about 12.16c/kWh in 2014). Couple this with our growing penetration of rooftop solar (one in five of all Australian households as of December 2014) and it becomes clear that, not only will Tesla’s Powerwall save Australian consumers on utilities, but that Australia is prepared for the approaching revolution.
Because, although Australians have proven to be ever-enthusiastic about alternative energies, like solar, exorbitant equipment and installation prices have stopped many from doing their bit. That is what the Tesla Powerwall will create, an energy storage option that isn’t going to break the bank.
Are Australian energy providers worried?
Not only is Tesla’s Powerwall environmentally friendly, but it’s also shaping up to be pretty friendly with your wallet too– so, yes, our energy providers are worried. Though, the cost of shipping, the foreign exchange, installation costs and other solar panel costs are bound to accumulate a fairly large outlay, the money saved through energy costs will pay back that cost, and rather quickly.
In fact, hot off the heels’ of Tesla’s announcement, AGL Energy became the first local energy retailer to enter the energy storage market with the launch of their very own battery storage product known as the Power Advantage proposition. AGL are kicking the range off with some expressions of interests in a small, 6 kWh battery, which will be followed closely by a bevvy or products available for home and businesses.
When will it all be available?
Many of these ‘big announcements’ promise technological revolutions but never surface. However, thanks to the Powerwall’s low production costs and Elon Musk’s can-do attitude, the Tesla Powerwall will almost certainly be hitting our shores by 2016.