The development of rooftop solar panels and battery storage technology could transform the economy and the world in the same way that the oil and gas boom transformed the United States.
Last year, oil production in the United States reached a record of more than 1 million barrels per day. This made the United States the biggest oil producing country ahead of Russia and Saudi Arabia.
While in the past, the United States was strongly dependent on imports, exports have now attained a dominant role. In fact, the United States produced 86% of its energy input needs itself. However, new technologies are changing the economy proving that Schumpeter’s creative destruction is still alive and kicking.
The batteries allow buildings/structures with the solar panels to store energy during the day and to tap the excess energy during the night. The same battery storage technologies could be used for electrical vehicles and could reshape the city development. One of the proposals for achieving an efficient energy system, for instance, was to use car batteries as energy buffers to be charged when excess energy was available on the grid and to be discharged to make up for whatever energy deficits there might be on the grid. AC/DC inversion losses, together with battery life, however, remain an issue with conventional battery technology.
An increasing number of electricity consumers are turning to solar panel and battery storage to reduce their bills. Moreover, homeowners might use battery storage, combined with solar power, to further reduce their dependence on utilities and sell electricity back to the grid, a new business model known as distributed generation.
Last month, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk confirmed that Tesla was planning to build a factory for lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. This could influence the electricity market and could slash the expense for energy storage. Furthermore, given Li-ion’s high cost, Tesla claimed that it is looking to cut Li-ion battery costs by almost 30%.
In the last 5 years, the cost of electric cars have decreased considerably, but to be within the reach of the average consumer, it should decrease even further.
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