One man has a vision to turn every home into a distributed solar-power plant that generates, stores and delivers energy back into the electricity grid.
And when that person is Tesla CEO Elon Musk the world listens.
On an investor call on Monday Musk outlined a strategy that will ramp up Tesla’s sales of both solar power generators and energy storage products.
On one hand Musk is doing this as he fears electricity blackouts, like the one that hit California last summer, undermine the reliability of the existing grid and that Tesla owners need backup.
At the same time Musk believes that in order to decarbonise existing grids need more solar back up and more storage. He hopes that creating mini distributed power stations in the home might solve this problem, while also giving a financial benefit to the owner of the Tesla products.
Musk argued “This is a prosperous future both for Tesla and for the utilities. If this is not done, the utilities will fail to serve their customers.”
Putting his money where his mouth is Tesla recently changed its website to prevent customers from only buying solar or its Powerwall energy storage product and instead required purchasing a system.
There are questions that Musk will answer at some point. Will the solar panel plus storage system in each home generate enough electricity to decarbonise an energy grid?
Will the system be as effective in countries with less sunlight?
And finally, how will grid operators respond?.
Time will tell if Musk has got the answers.