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Author Topic: Batteries  (Read 8856 times)

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Re: Batteries
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2015, 06:27:45 pm »
Tesla Energy: Will the Markets for Solar and Storage Include Everyone in Need?

 Lewis Milford 
 May 04, 2015  |  2 Comments 

Elon Musk’s Tesla Energy announcement to sell an affordable, reliable battery system for solar energy storage in homes and businesses is more important than all the hyped press even suggests. But as extraordinary as the news is about how this technology will impact our energy future, it leaves out some important issues still to be sorted out.

At the top of the list is how these technology advances will benefit people other than high-income homeowners and businesses who are likely to be the first adopters of the product — how to make these technologies available to the low- and middle-income people who also need resilient power.

The news of Tesla opening up a new energy battery division, called Tesla Energy, has captured the headlines and the imagination. In a presentation reminiscent of Steve Jobs before an adoring crowd, Musk gave an entertaining and direct talk about the need for solar and battery storage to replace fossil fuels and address climate change and to capture and store electric power that can make homes and businesses more resilient and independent from the power grid. It was an impressive show.

The product specifications are even more impressive. For a cutting-edge and innovative product, the cost is low for a home system, $3,500, with an inverter and installation adding to that cost. That system will allow a home or business to island, to go grid independent in case of a power outage. It will also enable customers to reduce electric bills, especially very high demand charges that can represent more than half of typical commercial electric bill.

The announcement is part of a wave of good news about how solar plus battery systems can reinvent the power system, reduce pollution, and realign the relationship between electric utilities and their customers.

But what is missing from this news is how new battery storage technology can improve public safety — in virtually all buildings that protect the public like fire and police stations, schools and hospitals; and how this technology can benefit the people who need access to low-cost and resilient power the most — the underprivileged and largely forgotten poor, many who already suffer high electric bills in places like affordable housing and assisted living facilities. We need to ensure that the larger public and the most vulnerable can get these technology benefits along with high-end homeowners and businesses.

Social equity is often a challenge during these new technology transitions — the need to ensure that the arc of these new and cleaner solar+storage technology markets benefits the general public rather than only private commercial customers and the affluent.

We need to direct these technologies to benefit all sectors of society — not as an afterthought, but from the outset, as a matter of foundational market and policy design. That has not been the case with clean energy markets — the poor have usually been left behind the technology curve.

As these energy storage technologies become available, we need to make sure they are deployed to provide resilient power to communities, to make sure that emergency services and public infrastructure can benefit from reliable and affordable solar plus storage technologies. Hospitals, schools, water treatment plants, fire stations, elderly housing complexes, airports, communications and transportation systems could all benefit from these technologies. They all need reliable and affordable electric power; they all need to function when the grid goes down.

The good news is that Tesla seems driven to serve both private enterprise and public benefits. Musk is a brilliant energy innovator with a desire to solve large societal problems like climate change. He is keeping his technology patents open. That is to be commended.

What is also needed now is a commitment to ensure that new energy storage markets also include the public sector — to extend these economic and environmental benefits to the people most in need now, and not have these benefits trickle down years later, after the technologies have become mainstream.

The conversation about how to make that happen is an important one that companies like Tesla need to have.


May 4, 2015 

Where has your voice for "social equity" been for the past decade or so while the costs of fossil-fuel energy doubled for everyone, placing the greatest burden on the people most in need? Solar and wind power - and technology to store solar and wind energy - promise strong elements of price stability and predictability for everyone, including the economically disadvantaged. Fossil fuel energy and its inherent price volatility, unpredictability and massive subsidies are far more serious problems for the poor than anything that could be envisioned for modern clean energy technology.


 A. G. Gelbert   
 May 4, 2015 

Of course Renewable Energy should be made available to everyone. This is where the insidious nature of town ordinances comes in. NOBODY seems to want to ADMIT that the infrastructure, at present, is tailored to promote the use of fossil fuels in homes and businesses and make it rather challenging, to put it mildly, to install Renewable Energy.

No town ordinance will stop you from doubling the size of your fossil fuel burning furnace or installing a giant electricity hog called a central air conditioning system.

Yet, just try to dig up the land to install a geothermal loop or stick a large PV panel array on your lawn (because you want easy access to it). How about the distance from the road that you are required, by ordinance, to put up a tower for a wind turbine? Be prepared to jump through several hoops, including peculiar ideas of what is aesthetically acceptable and what is not.

People say this is just common sense. NO IT ISN'T. It's a deliberate defense of an unsustainable energy status quo, period. Hello, Colchester, Vermont. Are you listening? I am certain that there will be some bureaucratic baloney thrown at the Tesla Wall Battery, regardless of the fact that it is unobtrusive. The old "licensed electrician must provide an annual inspection of LARGE battery systems (see the Tesla battery stats LOL!)" trick to generate local jobs for friends of town counselors comes to mind.

All Renewable Energy installations should be protected from town ordinances by Federal Law. But, of course, our bought and paid for "democracy" hasn't gotten around to that, for some reason...

Change is coming IN SPITE OF irrational and environmentally suicidal town ordinances. The fossil fuel government at every level will not let go of its gravy train easily. But it will, eventually, be forced to.

But for now, the poor are basically OUT of the Renewable Energy loop BY profit over planet, predatory capitalist DESIGN.

100% of the people could have 100% Renewable Energy if the Federal Reserve provided loans for Renewable Energy Systems at the same low interest rate set for home mortgages. It's really stupid that they don't. The massive number of jobs generated from this giant transition would boost GDP. But some rich pigs would lose profits. So it is not done. So it goes..

Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23


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