Elon Musk’s tweets aren’t always controversial. In evidence: Australia is turning the page on coal, and this shift toward a cleaner energy mix will have an origin: Tesla chief Elon Musk reveals article by Florberg April 4th. It all began in 2016. That year, the province of South Australia, home to nearly two million Australians, suffered an unprecedented blackout. If the region relies on renewable energies, by developing wind farms, it is struggling to produce electricity. The community is unable to replace the last coal-fired power plant, which closed a few months ago. To meet its electricity needs, it imports electricity from neighboring regions and studies various options to be less dependent on other regions.
This is when Elon Musk will debut, and the eccentric billionaire will be proud that he has a solution: to make the world’s largest battery, which would store renewable energy. Since solar and wind power are intermittent, a system of giant batteries can store electricity to be consumed not when it is produced, but when it is really needed. The proposal did not go unnoticed. Australian software billionaire and climate activist Mike Cannon challenged Tesla CEO Brooks, asking: “ Elon Musk, are you really serious? Can you guarantee 100 megawatts in 100 days? “. Respond: Tesla will install and operate the system 100 days after signing the contract, otherwise it will be free. Is he serious enough for you? ».
The system will be installed and operated by Tesla for 100 days from signing the contract or it is free. Is it dangerous enough for you?
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 10, 2017
A third of the country’s coal-fired power plants will be shut down by 2030
And to the surprise of many people, Tesla kept its promise. A few months later, the giant electricity storage unit, consisting of lithium-ion batteries, was opened. Other similar systems followed. These units have enabled Australia to benefit from the cleanest coal generation in the region.
This transition will be in the process of being adopted across the country. Because all of its regions are shutting down coal-fired power plants. New South Wales, the island’s most populous state, will lose a power plant in April. Eraring, the largest in the country, will close in 2025. One of the oldest units, the Yallourn unit, is scheduled to be dismantled in 2028. It’s very simple: among the 15 large coal-fired power plants feeding the grid is Australia’s National Power Station, The third plant is expected to be officially closed by 2030. In less than 20 years, all coal-fired power plants in the country could be closed.
How can they be replaced, when the country is also shutting down gas-fired power plants and nuclear power is not an option chosen? After the establishment of coal, solar, wind and hydraulic power production units. It is estimated that one in three homes is equipped with solar panels, and this percentage could increase in the coming years. And Elon Musk’s battery system could facilitate a broad transition to this energy mix. Significant investments still need to be made to bring renewable energy production and storage into the existing electricity grid. The amount of the bill, according to our colleagues: $ 215 billion.
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