New Exposure in Solar Energy

by WaterElement on November 26, 2016 - 1:35am

 

               The future of energy is coming and Tesla is leading the path. A company ran by Elon Musk; the renowned automotive manufacture has made the next step in their plan into global sustainable energy! A brand-new article written by James Vincent explains how Tesla completed its acquisition of SolarCity merging the two companies under one brand. The company recently just demonstrated the power they can bring to the table with their solar panel technology. Tesla announced the project of wiring up an entire small island of Ta’u in American Samoa. The island previously ran on three diesel generators and required the diesel to be imported in. Which I agree with the author, is an illogical method. Also, each generator burns up to 300 gallons of fuel per day or a horrible 109,500 gallons of fuel per year (Vincent 2016). The island will now be using the resource that’s often overshadowed, solar energy. 5,328 solar panels have been installed on the island to generate 1.4 megawatts. A section of forest was cleared out will now can store 6 megawatt hours of storage and will be able to supply the island for 3 days without sunlight (Vincent 2016)! This will provide 99% of the required power to the 600 of its residents. Furthermore, the article interviewed a local who promoted the reduction of a carbon footprint. The local Keith Ahsoon said, “Living on an island you experience global warming first hand”. He further explained, that “the beach erosion and other noticeable changes are part of life here” and “hopefully this project will set a good example for everyone else to follow”. I believe due to recent criticisms global warming, needs to have more exposure especially from people who experience it severely. This is a great example of how there was a state failure which led to SolarCity to take the initiative. I am hopeful there will be new governance regimes to achieving more sustainable solutions. Currently, I believe there is a great disinterest in solar energy from the pro-oil American government. I also think there is a great amount of knowledge available to the public to implement a shift in focus. In the end, this up to the public to question whether the preservation of our natural environment is worth more than the money offered by energy generation by crude oil extraction and other unsustainable methods. It should be also noted there are negatives to this article such as the manipulation of the land to implement the solar panels. There would be a large amount of energy required to extract materials and create the panels, which may be expensive and laborious and overall could be more expensive than the diesel supply required for long period time. The installation such as the forest being cleared, was not discussed along with maintenance fees. Tesla was also using this project as marketing, so at face value the company’s focus may look ecofriendly and sustainable but the company could be profit focused. All-in-all, this is an example of humanity doing some good for the planet by switching to more sustainable methods that I agree with. A mass realization of green energy is required for the future of our planet.

 

 

References

 

Vincent, J. (2016, November 22). Tesla powers a whole island with solar to show off its energy chops. Retrieved

     November 25, 2016, from The Verge website: http://www.theverge.com/2016/11/22/13712750/

     tesla-microgrid-tau-samoa 

Comments

Hi WaterElement, nice post. I enjoyed the read as you pointed out some interesting facts about the consumption of diesel on the island of Ta’u. That is so inefficient (and a lot of GHG emmission)! I find it great how a large car company is putting their money towards (hopefully) starting a trend and showing how solar energy can be used to our advantage. Like you stated, it could be a method of advertisement for Tesla, making them look good and 'eco-friendly'. But if thats an incentive for big companies to start making a difference for global warming and climate change, then so be it! I think there should be some sort of award or certificate for companies who invest in renewable energy and perhaps carbon sequestration (i.g. reforestation). What other methods would you think are possible and achievable to help encourage the switch from oil and natural gas to renewable energy sources? Global warming is a real challenge today and many things need to change. This is a really good example of what is possible. Great post on a very compelling topic!

Hey WaterElement,
I had no idea Tesla were undertaking projects such as this. This is a great example of the applicability of renewable energy, which I often feel is viewed as somewhat fragile compared to fossil fuels such as nuclear and coal. This is an unfortunate misconception, which I hope will be put to rest by more projects like this one! Tesla is definitely a forward-thinking and "cool" company, so hopefully this project will be well received by the media, and will inspire others to try similar things. The answer isn't always so obvious in other parts of the world, where sunlight is less consistent for example, but there are plenty of alternatives that may be more appropriate elsewhere. Thanks for the post!

Hey WaterElement! Awesome post! I have seen Tesla's development in other area's in the news but I have not read any news reviews which include comments - so thank you for facilitating this discussion. Tesla is one of my favourite companies right now in terms of finding green energy alternatives and solutions to current and old methods of energy production from fossil-fuels. I really like how you mentioned that it was potentially the state's fault for the failure of SolarCity and how they have a lot of vested interest in Oil company's. With the new government moving in in the United States it will be very interesting to see where all of the effort in green technologies will end up.

This article is important to me as I am very interested in discovering new, accessible way's to become less reliant on fossil fuels for energy use on a small scale. By small scale I mean that I am interested in trying to get individual building's like homes more self-sufficient. Tesla's partnering with SolarCity is one step in this direction. They have been able to produce shingles that look quite attractive in my opinion, that are very strong and resistant to stress, that are actually SOLAR PANELS!! It is a very cool concept and fit's in with Tesla's whole green mantra they have been showcasing in recent years. I have attached a link for your interest which may help you understand exactly what I mean when I talk about the shingles. Thanks again for your great post.

http://www.treehugger.com/energy-policy/tesla-introduces-gorgeous-new-so...