What will the battery revolution look like?
When Elon Musk launched Tesla’s home battery system one year ago, he promised “a fundamental transformation in how energy is delivered across the Earth”. He is now building a “gigafactory” in the desert with an ambition to manufacture more batteries by 2020 every year than the whole world produced in 2013.
Musk isn’t alone. Big names from Gates to Dyson are now competing in a billion dollar race to discover the next lucrative breakthrough that could revolutionise the energy system.
The technology is changing fast. The cost of lithium-ion batteries – the most common type – plunged by 53% between 2012 and 2015 and are predicted to half again by 2019, according to energy analysts IHS.It’s estimated that storage could help to bring about a saving of £8bn to British consumers, secure energy supply for a generation and meet carbon targets.
But what would this “fundamental transformation” look like? We put the question to some self-confessed battery geeks.
We could run our own mini power stations – and sell electricity to our neighbours
“This is the future,” claimed Welsh householder Mark Kerr as he proudly unveiled his Tesla home battery system in February this year – the first of its kind to be installed in the country – which allows him to use the energy from his solar panels when the sun isn’t shining.
By enabling householders to use their own supply 24 hours a day, cheap energy storage could be “the final piece in the global energy transition puzzle,” to use the words of top financial ratings agency Standard and Poor’s.
The public could then become not just energy consumers, but energy producers, like Kerr, with each home effectively running their own individual power stations.
Read full story: Energy Desk