Tesla's acquisition of SolarCity is a match made in heaven with its new Powerwall 2
Last week Tesla closed on its acquisition with SolarCity, a deal worth about $2 billion. This comes at a time where the electric car brand is diversifying even further into the energy market.
The Tesla Powerwall is a way to harness solar energy and store it for later use, it can also draw power from the utility grid when rates are at their lowest and store that too. The new Powerwall 2 has twice the energy and twice the storage of the previous model. It’s also more rectangular and much flatter than the previous generation.
All this extra energy comes at a price with the Powerwall 2 costing $5,500, with an inverter included. It’ll cost around $1,000 for installation. The company says, however, that the Powerwall will pay for itself in six years.
To promote the new Powerwall, Tesla is revamping its retail operations to have more of a focus on energy solutions. This includes new messaging at the point of sale with displays that fully explain what the Powerwall can do.
The acquisition of SolarCity is important for Tesla as the two companies will be able to build solar shingles made of a special type of glass. These look like normal roof tiles but capture the sun’s energy to generate electricity. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said during a shareholder meeting that it’s likely these solar shingles will cost less than a normal roof before you even take into account the savings on electricity.
These solar shingles can capture energy during the day when the sun is shining but can store that energy for use in the evening when paired with the Powerwall 2.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.