Tesla unveils super-battery to power homes

Go Lean Commentary

Necessity is the ‘mother’ of invention – Old Wives Tale

Caribbean energy costs are among the highest in the world. The book Go Lean…Caribbean relates (Page 100) that the Caribbean has among the most expensive energy costs in the world, despite having abundant alternative energy natural resources (solar, wind, tidal, and geo-thermal). The Caribbean eco-system focuses on imported petroleum to provide energy options and as a result retail electricity rates in the Caribbean average US$0.35/kWh, when instead it could be down to US$0.088/kWh.

There is definitely the need for invention. Now, along comes Tesla*
… with this “inventive” solution.
… with this Powerwall product, launched last week by Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk; it is designed to allow homeowners to store electricity generated by green energy options – solar panels and wind turbines – during the peak of the day, then use it at other times when electricity consumption is higher.

CU Blog - Tesla unveils super-battery to power homes - Photo 1

CU Blog - Tesla unveils super-battery to power homes - Photo 3

VIDEO 1 – Tesla unveils super-battery to power homes –  http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/tesla-unveils-super-battery-to-power-homes/

May 2, 2015 – The electronic car maker has come up with large, high-tech batteries to power your home even after the sun goes down. Telsa’s founder, Elon Musk, says they will let homeowners store solar power during the day and keep using it at night. CNET.com’s senior editor Bridget Carey joins “CBS This Morning: Saturday” to discuss how this could open a whole new way to use clean energy and to save money. (VIDEO plays best in Internet Explorer).

According to Elon Musk, this is “a fundamental transformation of how the world works”.

VIDEO 2 – Elon Musk unveils Powerwall, a battery pack for buildings (TomoNews) – https://youtu.be/NvCIhn7_FXI

Published on May 5, 2015 – Tesla Motors on Thursday, April 30 unveiled Tesla Energy, storage systems or batteries designed for homes and businesses.

Elon Musk, the company CEO, introduced the products to a crowd of business experts and journalists at a Tesla facility close to Los Angeles.

CU Blog - Tesla unveils super-battery to power homes - Photo 4Tesla did not invent the original battery, nor solar power panels. These technologies had pre-existed before this new development. But the problem has always been availability of the green energy option during uninviting conditions: solar – night time or cloud covered days; wind – still days.

This was the problem: Energy needs are undeniable 24-7-365; all the time. Energy delivery must cover all of those times.

The delivery or fulfilling those needs is a great target for lean, agile operations. It will save a lot of money for the people and institutions of the Caribbean.

This is the economic dynamic; there is also the matter of burning fossil fuels (oil, coal, wood pulp) and contributing to global warming and climate change. The Go Lean book posits that the embrace of alternative energy generation sources to be more impactful on the quest to minimize the threats on the environment. Early in the book, the pressing need to be aware of climate change is pronounced in the Declaration of Interdependence (Page 11), with these words, (the first of many “causes of complaints”):

i.  Whereas the earth’s climate has undeniably changed resulting in more severe tropical weather storms, it is necessary to prepare to insure the safety and security of life, property and systems of commerce in our geographical region. As nature recognizes no borders in the target of its destruction, we also must set aside border considerations in the preparation and response to these weather challenges.

Now, with this innovative offering from Tesla, the quest to adapt to more clean/green energy options can be practical and more cost effective. Power generation from the sun or wind (free & renewable sources) is far cheaper that generation based on fossil fuels.

Money! Environment! These two constitute reasons enough to pursue strategies, tactics and implementations of renewable energy with battery back-ups. But there is a third motivation behind the Go Lean…Caribbean movement; that is love of the homeland. Many people find the current lack of energy options unbearable for a normal life in their Caribbean ancestral homeland – imagine not being able to turn on air conditioning during the summer due to excessive costs – so they flee the region for foreign shores … in North America and Europe.

This new innovative product by Tesla…changes everything!

The book Go Lean… Caribbean serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). This roadmap has 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion GDP and create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improvement of Caribbean governance to support these engines.

CU Blog - Tesla unveils super-battery to power homes - Photo 5This Go Lean/CU roadmap recognizes that modern life has expanded the definition of basic needs to now include food, clothing, shelter and energy. And thusly the book proposes many solutions for the region to optimize energy delivery:

  • generation
  • distribution
  • consumption

Home-based solar panels or home-based wind turbines with battery back-ups would optimize all these three areas of focus. We applaud Tesla and the success of their transformational product.

To the Caribbean we declare: More help is on the way! The Go Lean book posits that with the adoptions of the strategies, tactics and implementations in the roadmap that average costs of energy can be decreased from an average of US$0.35/kWh to US$0.088/kWh in the course of the 5-year term of this roadmap. (Page 100). That is a 75% savings.

The Go Lean roadmap details a series of community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to be early adopters of these cutting-edge energy systems. The following list applies:

Community Ethos – Deferred Gratification Page 21
Community Ethos – Lean Operations Page 24
Community Ethos – Return on Investments Page 24
Community Ethos – Cooperatives Page 25
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Future Page 26
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Greater Good Page 37
Strategy – Harness the power of the sun/winds Page 46
Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy Page 82
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Energy Commission Page 82
Anecdote – “Lean” in Government – Energy Permits Page 93
Anecdote – Caribbean Energy Grid Implementation Page 100
Implementation – Ways to Develop Pipeline Industry Page 107
Implementation – Ways to Improve Energy Usage Page 113
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Public Works Page 175
Advocacy – Ways to Foster Cooperatives Page 176
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Monopolies Page 202

This Tesla battery system – Powerwall – offers independence from utility grids. It is not from an energy company, but rather from a technology company; (see Appendix). Stay tuned, opposition will emerge; it always does…especially in the US. The For-Profit utility companies always lobby against regulations to “clean-up” fossil-fuel (coal) power plants or block small “Green” start-ups from sending excess power to the National Grid. Their motive is to preserve their century-long monopoly. See related article here:

Title: Is America’s electrical grid fading to black?
By: Bruce Kennedy – MoneyWatch – April 8, 2015

Are you prepared to live “off the grid,” independent of major electric utilities? Many people who live in Washington, D.C., may be ready for a change — after widespread power outages in the region on Tuesday, due to a problem in a utility company transmission line.

While the term may sound like something out of a novel, a growing number of U.S. consumers and businesses are actually expected to be living “off the grid” over the next several decades – to the point where some of the big utilities may find themselves in a new financial reality.

According to a new report by Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and HOMER Energy, a firm that designs remote microgrids, the development of practical and efficient solar-plus battery systems is an economic and cultural game-changer.

The report looked at median commercial and residential electrical customers in five very different metro areas – Louisville, Kentucky, Westchester County, New York, San Antonio, Texas, Los Angeles, California, and Honolulu, Hawaii – and evaluated their local economics through to 2050.

And their findings were startling. “Over time, as retail electricity prices from the grid increase and solar and battery costs decrease,” said the report’s executive summary, “customers logically reduce their grid purchases until the grid takes a backup-only role.”

For example, according to RMI’s analysis, the New York suburb of Westchester Country could see utility grid’s supply to overall electric power for commercial customers in the region shrink from 100 percent today to around 25 percent by 2030 – and to less than five percent by 2050.

“These findings should be compelling for customers and technology providers,” RMI principal and report author James Mandel said in a press statement. “No matter how expensive retail electricity gets in the future, customers that invest in these grid-connected systems can contain their electricity costs at or below a ‘peak price,’ yielding significant savings on their monthly utility bill.”

More choices for consumers of electricity also means major changes for the big utilities, even if only a fraction of their current customers end up adopting the new-tech systems. The report says that in the northeastern United States, commercial load “defections” away from the traditional utility grid could total 140 million megawatt hours by 2030, or around $35 billion in annual electrical costs.

But RMI manager and report coauthor Leia Guccione says the changes aren’t necessarily adversarial, pitting the old-school utilities against the new technology.

“Because these solar-plus-battery systems are grid-connected,” she notes, “they can offer value and services back to the grid. We need not see them only as a threat.”

© 2015 CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved.
Retrieved from CBS News Online Site (Posted May 2, 2015) from: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/is-americas-electrical-grid-fading-to-black/

This will be a choice for America to make: immediate profits or the Greater Good. Choose well, America!

The Go Lean movement (book and blogs) asserts that we should not look to American Big Energy for answers to our own Caribbean dilemmas. American leadership has often times been motivated by crony-capitalistic intentions. This point had been further elaborated upon in these previous blog/commentaries:

http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=4897 US Backs Natural Gas (LNG) Distribution Base in Jamaica
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=4294 Ambassadors to Caribbean discuss PetroCaribe-Energy, Security
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2465 Book Review: ‘This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate’
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2338 Lessons: How Best to Welcome the Dreaded American ‘Plutocracy’
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=926 Conservative heavyweights have solar industry in their ‘kill’ sights
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=273 10 Things We Don’t Want from the US – #1: American Self-Interest

Fulfilling energy needs is a great target for lean, agile operations, perfect for the CU technocracy.

We need innovative products, systems, companies and people to help us in our quest to make the Caribbean a better place to live, work and play.

Let’s get started. Now is the time for all of the Caribbean, the people, businesses, institutions and governments, to lean-in for the optimizations and opportunities described in the book Go Lean … Caribbean.  🙂

Download the book Go Lean … Caribbean – now!


Appendix – * TeslaCU Blog - Tesla unveils super-battery to power homes - Photo 2

Tesla Motors, Inc. is an American company that designs, manufactures, and sells electric cars and electric vehicle powertrain components.[4] Tesla Motors is a public company that trades on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the symbol TSLA.[5] In the first quarter of 2013, Tesla posted profits for the first time in its history.[6]

Tesla first gained widespread attention following their production of the Tesla Roadster, the first fully electric sports car.[7] The company’s second vehicle is the Model S, a fully electric luxury sedan, and its next two vehicles are the Models X and 3.[8] As of March 2015, Tesla Motors has delivered about 70,000 electric cars since 2008.[9]

Tesla also markets electric powertrain components, including lithium-ion battery packs to automakers including Daimler and Toyota.[10] Its CEO, Elon Musk, has said that he envisions Tesla Motors as an independent automaker,[11] aimed at eventually offering electric cars at prices affordable to the average consumer.[12][13] Pricing for the Tesla Model 3 is expected to start at US$35,000 before any government incentives and deliveries are expected to begin by 2017.[14][15] On April 30, 2015, Tesla announced the Powerwall, a battery product for home use. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Motors)

The company is named after famous inventor and innovator, Nikola Tesla (1856 –1943). He was a Serbian American[2][3][4], electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, physicist, and futurist. He is best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system.[5]

Nicola Tesla gained experience in telephony and electrical engineering before immigrating to the United States in 1884 to work for Thomas Edison in New York City. He soon struck out on his own with financial backers, setting up laboratories and companies to develop a range of electrical devices. His patented AC induction motor and transformer were licensed by George Westinghouse, who also hired Tesla for a short time as a consultant. His work in the formative years of electric power development was involved in a corporate alternating current/direct current “War of Currents” as well as various patent battles. Tesla went on to pursue his ideas of wireless lighting and electricity distribution in his high-voltage, high-frequency power experiments in New York and Colorado Springs and made early (1893) pronouncements on the possibility of wireless communication with his devices. He tried to put these ideas to practical use in his ill-fated attempt at intercontinental wireless transmission. He was ahead of his time, as we only now have some semblance of these systems in place today. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikola_Tesla).

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