Tesla Battery Day 2020: What it Means for Solar Energy Storage

If you’re following energy news you may have seen the stories about Tesla Battery Day 2020. The event was held on September 22 in conjunction with the annual meeting of Tesla shareholders. A few shareholders attended in person at the company’s Fremont, California headquarters, but most people saw the event on a livestream. After the meeting of shareholders finished, company founder Elon Musk presented to the world on what the future of energy storage at Tesla will look like.

The Case for Solar

The Battery Day presentation began with a discussion about why it’s so important for companies and individuals to transition to more renewable energy sources.

  • The past 5 years were the hottest in recorded human history
  • There has been a significant increase in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere (measured in PPM)
  • The amount of renewable energy is increasing (in 2019 it accounted for about 17.5% of all energy in the U.S.) but still trails fossil fuels (62.7%) by a significant amount

Tesla is producing renewable energy for a wide variety of uses, most famously with its electric vehicles, but it is also a significant contributor in the solar energy space for homes and businesses. In fact, according to the presentation, Tesla batteries have generated 17 TWh of residential solar energy.

Tesla’s Announcements

One of the reasons Battery Day was so anticipated (besides just that it was from Tesla) was that teasers prior to the presentation indicated that they had made some significant discoveries that would help reduce the price of battery storage for renewable energy. If true, that would mean a truly affordable electric vehicle was likely on the near horizon and not just a far-off dream.

In the presentation, they did announce a few things of note:

  • Tesla has a new battery cell design that offers a higher power-to-weight ratio, which means a lighter battery for vehicles, as well as easier installation for residential and commercial energy storage.
  • The company is working on manufacturing efficiencies. Right now the long and expensive manufacturing process keeps electric vehicle and solar battery prices high, but a more efficient and inexpensive process could drive prices down and increase the supply of energy storage products to meet a growing demand.
  • Tesla is shifting the supply chain to make more materials in house, and eliminating the expensive material cobalt from its lithium-ion batteries. Recent investigations have revealed significant environmental and human costs in cobalt mining, and because the material is rare, prices are high and often unpredictable.

While the technologies announced at this year’s Battery Day are not yet available, it is promising to see companies moving forward to create better, cheaper, lighter, and more efficient batteries for future renewable energy storage.

To find out more about Tesla Powerwall batteries and why they are a great option for your residential or commercial solar system, talk to Intermountain Wind and Solar today.

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