Most people know Tesla for its electric vehicles, but Tesla CEO Elon Musk believes that Tesla Energy, an operating unit focused on energy storage and solar, is poised to potentially grow faster than its EV business.
Musk believes that the demand for sustainable energy will continue to grow, and with a series of moves in recent years, including Tesla’s acquisition of SolarCity three years ago, he hopes that Tesla Energy will be a market leader.
Tesla Energy has already made several moves that exemplify the attention to clean energy imperative for any modern energy business. For instance, it, not too long ago, deployed a huge battery unit in Alaska with the goal of replacing a fossil fuel plant.
But what’s next? And why is Tesla’s CEO so bullish on its energy division?
Elon Musk’s Vision For Tesla Energy
While we first learned about Tesla Energy back in 2015, Musk started by explaining that most power in the world is powered by fossil fuels. Consequently, such a phenomenon has caused a J-curve in the growth of carbon dioxide emissions.
But Musk shared that the surface area needed for the United States to transition fully away from fossil fuels over to solar really isn’t much. Tesla depicted this idea in a graphic:
And one better, Musk believes that most of that area can be fulfilled on rooftops. In other words, Tesla won’t necessarily require clearing land for the purpose of installing solar panels to make its plan work.
Tesla Energy Doubles Down On Solar Roof Tiles With SolarCity Acquisition
That’s why Tesla Energy’s $2.6 billion acquisition of SolarCity made sense three years ago. Both companies aimed to make the most reliable solar roof tiles and had a clear synergy in terms of moving the needle for renewable energy.
By joining forces, SolarCity and Tesla hoped to reap a slew of benefits, including helping to reduce carbon emissions. But the release of their roof tiles hasn’t been smooth-sailing.
For example, in October, Walmart sued Tesla after the solar panels caught on fire atop seven of the retailer’s stores. And many of Tesla’s shareholders filed lawsuits against shareholders for acquiring SolarCity.
Shareholders believed that solar would be a horrific investment.
Could Tesla Energy Grow Faster Than Its Vehicles Business?
As Tesla continues to mature as a vehicles company, many have faith in it long-term. But some Tesla watchers simply believe that there is not enough demand for solar energy.
Musk thinks otherwise.
Tesla installed over 1 GWh of storage capacity around the world in 2018. And in 2019, the company plans to double that. Many people believe that the profits from Tesla Energy will amount to maybe 20% of the total. Conversely, Musk claims that profits from the company will make up 50%.
Elon Musk wants the energy produced by Tesla’s solar panels to surpass the energy consumed by the company’s cars. Therefore, he believes that the demand for solar energy will only increase in the future.
Adoption of Solar-Energy-Driven Infrastructure Will Take Time
Though he is optimistic about the future of solar, Musk admits that the integration of solar panels at scale will be slow. However, he believes that society will eventually adopt solar-energy-driven infrastructure.
From reliability to pricing, there are many obstacles to properly implementing the technology. Musk has managed to present a variety of different ideas that help increase the sustainability in modern-day products.
Whether solar energy is something that people believe is worth the investment, Musk and Tesla Energy are willing to test it out.