Having already made a name for himself in the automotive industry, Elon Musk — CEO of Tesla Motors — has set his sights elsewhere. Not content with revolutionizing the electric car industry, Musk recently announced the creation of “Tesla Energy” and their flagship product: the “Powerwall.”

 

In the simplest of terms, the Powerwall is nothing more than a battery for homes; it receives a solar charge and can eliminate a homeowner’s dependence upon conventional power grids. The device possesses a certain degree of flexibility in that users can switch it on and off at will, returning to conventional grid power outside of “peak hours” — when electricity rates increase.

 

Similar to how Tesla treated the tech used in their electric cars, this new technology will be made open source and free from copyright. Musk appears to have an earnest desire to see this beneficial technology become ubiquitous, and as we’ve seen before: corporate responsibility is simply good PR.

 

Image of Tesla's Powerwall battery

The Powerwall Tesla battery seeks to give people the opportunity to live off-grid, though some argue this is only a toy for the wealthy. (boingboing.net)

The technology comes with other benefits as well. For one, it does not exclusively rely on solar power to generate its energy; it can gather energy from sources such as wind and traditional power grids, then store that energy for future use. The product also has a modular design in that homeowners can buy as many or as few units as needed to meet their specific energy requirements.

 

Globally, home batteries could prove immensely beneficial for developing countries that lack access to stable power grids. During the unveiling of the product, Musk calculated that 900 million batteries worldwide could completely shift the Earth to renewable energy.

 

Of course, the technology does not come without its opponents. Forbes broke down the cost of the Powerwall and concluded that it really would only make financial sense to get one if a homeowner equipped their home to rely exclusively on solar energy. Many could see it as a fancy toy for the wealthy upper class more than a true solution.

 

Whether or not the Powerwall succeeds remains to be seen. With the impact of fossil fuels becoming more and more noticeable — as well as costly — perhaps we should welcome the possible solutions that are presented to us.

 

What do you think of the Powerwall? Do you think you will purchase one? Comment below or tweet @connerws to tell us what you think!