The Other I

March 27, 2014

Magnifying a ray of sunshine

Filed under: Environmental Issues — theotheri @ 4:35 pm

Tesla is an electric car company that has recently announced plans to build a “gigafactory”  possibly in Arizona.  The goal is to double the world’s production of lithium-ion batteries while reducing the cost by 50% by 2020  for batteries that charge faster with a higher storage capacity than anything on the market today.

It’s potentially a serious game-changer.  If  Tesla succeeds, we are much closer to affordable storage batteries for individual homes which charge up when the sun shines or the wind blows and then give us heat, light, and power when the sun goes down.

Ultimately, this could do a great deal to reduce environmental pollution and climate change.

But it will be highly disruptive.  The role of traditional energy companies will change radically.  Energy companies in Germany are already facing huge losses as a result of renewables there. (One company posted a loss of $2.76 billion last year.)   Traditionally, energy companies have smoothed out the delivery of electricity to our homes and businesses, so that we mostly experience a steady steam of electricity whether the sun is shining or not, or however much electricity is being pulled out of the grid at any given peak time.

Of course, there aren’t any simple answers for problems as huge and complex as our increasing global use of energy.

But part of the solution lies in human ingenuity.

This might be a big one.



  1. Another energy saving idea that may hit the buffers of the oil barons – again!


    Comment by lairdglencairn — March 29, 2014 @ 8:15 am | Reply

    • Yes, I agree. What I find discouraging is that it looks to me as if every system we have ever dreamed about is vulnerable either to power or greed, or both. A hundred years ago I have little doubt that I would have been a Communist. And although I would argue vehemently that some systems are better than others, it looks to me as if every singe one of them is subject to subversion. It’s the human condition.

      I think it was Thomas Jefferson who pointed out that freedom needs constant guarding.

      I’d be interested in your further thoughts. It’s obvious from your blog that this is something you have pondered a great deal.


      Comment by Terry Sissons — March 30, 2014 @ 11:51 am | Reply

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