Tesla Energy selects Australia to make its debut
Later this year, Australians will be the first ones to get their hands on Tesla’s new Powerwall battery.
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The company most known for its Model S electric car will soon launch Tesla Energy in Australia, which also includes its industrial scaled Powerpack in addition to the residential Powerwall. The energy giant’s $1 billion grid battery business already has over 100,000 orders.
Tesla Energy is an extension of Tesla Motor’s goal of getting rid of Australia’s dependence on fossil fuels, as the release of its Powerwall technology may provoke a rise in the number of Aussie households using solar power.
Much like the battery in the Model S, the Powerwall is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The only difference is this one can be mounted on the wall of homes. For residences already equipped with solar panels, the Powerwall battery can store the energy being collected to use during night time.
Instead of having to deal with the current electricity rates and a feed-in-tariff system, the new Powerwall will allow homes to disconnect from the grid completely.
As was reported in our sister site Business Review Australia, Tesla Energy will supply most households with the 7 kilowatt-hour Powerwall. In addition, there are also 10kWh Powerwalls with commercial and utility scale Powerpacks that will combine powerfull 100kWh battery blocks for anywhere from 500kWh to as much as 10 megawatt-hour.
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Previously, Tesla said 80 percent of its orders were for the Powerpack, which is the larger of the two and created for commercial and industrial customers. But with surprisingly strong interest in the Powerwall as well, the number of orders for the Powerpack dropped to about 70 percent.
So far, Tesla’s largest order has been 250 of its 100kWh Powerpacks.
In the future, Tesla will be the first company to have equipment needed to make the grid batteries in the Gigafactory, which the company began construction on last year and production expected to begin in 2017. Once that happens, Tesla will be able to increase its business substantially.
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But at the moment, the Powerwall is only a backup energy source, and not much different than a generator you can purchase at any hardware store. While it will provide your home with power during a blackout or another emergency, it won’t run devices that use a lot of power such as air conditioners.
With the cost of the battery plus installation hovering around $7,000, the need for the new technology may be outweighed by its financial implications.
Trafigura and Yara International explore clean ammonia usage
Reducing shipping emissions is a vital component of the fight against global climate change, yet Greenhouse Gas emissions from the global maritime sector are increasing - and at odds with the IMO's strategy to cut absolute emissions by at least 50% by 2050.
How more than 70,000 ships can decrease their reliance on carbon-based sources is one of transport's most pressing decarbonisation challenges.
Yara and Trafigura intend to collaborate on initiatives that will establish themselves in the clean ammonia value chain. Under the MoU announced today, Trafigura and Yara intend to work together in the following areas:
- The supply of clean ammonia by Yara to Trafigura Group companies
- Exploration of joint R&D initiatives for clean ammonia application as a marine fuel
- Development of new clean ammonia assets including marine fuel infrastructure and market opportunities
Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, President of Yara Clean Ammonia, said the agreement is a good example of cross-industry collaboration to develop and promote zero-emission fuel in the form of clean ammonia for the shipping industry. "Building clean ammonia value chains is critical to facilitate the transition to zero emission fuels by enabling the hydrogen economy – not least within trade and distribution where both Yara and Trafigura have leading capabilities. Demand and supply of clean ammonia need to be developed in tandem," he said.
There is a growing consensus that hydrogen-based fuels will ultimately be the shipping fuels of the future, but clear and comprehensive regulation is essential, according to Jose Maria Larocca, Executive Director and Co-Head of Oil Trading for Trafigura.
Ammonia has a number of properties that require "further investigation," according to Wartsila. "It ignites and burns poorly compared to other fuels and is toxic and corrosive, making safe handling and storage important. Burning ammonia could also lead to higher NOx emissions unless controlled either by aftertreatment or by optimising the combustion process," it notes.
Trafigura has co-sponsored the R&D of MAN Energy Solutions’ ammonia-fuelled engine for maritime vessels, has performed in-depth studies of transport fuels with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and has published a white paper on the need for a global carbon levy for shipping fuels to be introduced by International Maritime Organization.
Oslo-based Yara produces roughly 8.5 million tonnes of ammonia annually and employs a fleet of 11 ammonia carriers, including 5 fully owned ships, and owns 18 marine ammonia terminals with 580 kt of storage capacity – enabling it to produce and deliver ammonia across the globe.
It recently established a new clean ammonia unit to capture growth opportunities in emission-free fuel for shipping and power, carbon-free fertilizer and ammonia for industrial applications.