Thursday April 30, 2015

Elon Musk's Tesla home battery could start energy revolution

A new home battery could prove to be the beginning of the democratization of power.

A new home battery could prove to be the beginning of the democratization of power. (Sean Garrett, Flickr cc)

Listen 22:00

"My interest in electric vehicles goes back to college before global warming became a real issue, but I think the environmental issues do add an urgency to the matter. If it's not sustainable we're going to hit a wall." - Elon Musk

Elon Musk known as the entrepreneur who's revolutionized the electric car with his flashy Tesla roadster... not to mention spaceflight with his company SpaceX. So his latest move in the battery business might at first seem uncharacteristically bland for Elon Musk... but the batteries he has in mind, could turn out to be revolutionary.

Later today, Mr. Musk and his company SolarCity are expected to unveil a large-scale battery capable of powering an entire house. Just put it in the garage, attach it to some solar panels, and you could be off the power grid. Three hundred homes in California, already are, including this one.

The potential for powering your home with batteries is much greater than slashed power bills, some say this is a move towards democratizing our utility systems. We're looking at the potential for a battery-powered future as part of our project By Design. And we're starting with how this technology will work.

Mike Ramsey is a Wall Street Journal automotive reporter. He was in Detroit.

Putting a battery in every garage may have the potential to redesign much more than a home's blueprints.

For more of a sense of how home batteries could redesign the future, we were joined by Warren Mabee. He's Director of the Queen's Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. 


Would you buy a home battery? Do you already have solar panels and wish you had a better home battery?

Tweet us @TheCurrentCBC using #ByDesignCBC. Post on our Facebook page. Or email us through our website.

This segment was produced by The Current's Shannon Higgins and Sarah Grant.