Last week Elon Musk, probably secretly a cyborg and/or Iron Man (ETA have just been told his secret identity is ElonMan), revealed Tesla’s new battery storage system, the PowerWall. In brief, in combination with a 2kWh or a 5kWh PV system (super common sizes in Australia), means cheap, long term, accessible renewable energy at an individual level. One of the problems with PV has been an inability to store enough to get through the night, when there’s no sun out recharging the PV, and it’s a peak energy usage time. A great battery would change that, allowing charging and storage to happen through the day.
Renew Economy thinks it doesn’t mean the end of coal, and the removal of houses from the grid, but it certainly changes shit up.
In Australia, it definitely makes PV incredibly affordable (when the battery gets here), and makes PV super competitive, what with all the sun we have. And it changes the payback period, which has long been one of the bigger concerns around installing solar power. Origin recently calculated wasted roof space across Australia, and comes in at 5.3 million homes and businesses wasting their roof space, which doesn’t even take into account other spots to put PV (or roofs on which to put gardens, but this is a solar discussion, quokkas!). Basically it’s all our dystopia dreams come true, and I wish I’d known about it last week before I handed in my latest story (more on that when it comes out, but there’s PV and Australia’s dystopia involved).
The Conversation has a great article about the ‘winners and losers’ in this situation; what’s especially great about it is how it clearly highlights that sometimes distribution companies might not allow installation to happen because there are too many systems installed in certain areas, and if that doesn’t sound like a perfect BigPower conspiracy I don’t know what does.
Related, there’s a floating solar-powered waste water treatment plant under construction in South Australia, which is going to be awesome.
And at wired, a solar powered plane. Yes. Give it to me.
5 thoughts on “prepping for our well-powered dystopia”
All I want is a system that installs solar panels for renters. Maybe temporary ones we can take with us? For less than many thousands of dollars?
Alternatively, I guess I’d settle for solar powered fairy lights that hold more than an hour’s charge.
Liz, you could try convince your landlord to get involved in one of these https://www.choice.com.au/home-improvement/energy-saving/solar/articles/solar-pv-system-leasing-and-power-purchasing-agreements-ppas – no cost to the landlord but you get the benefits of solar generation.
Oooh, nice. Thanks, Jane!
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