Well that didn’t last long

As expected the media has had a total explosion of stupidity over the Tesla Powerwall.   I have to say it even impressed me!

Wow, it actually frightens me that the media can be so bloody stupid.   It does not surprise me one bit though.

OK, lets start with the well known broadsheet that is usually found under the cats food bowls. – The Times.

Front pages on the Beeb

Link to The Times website (paywall blocked)

OK, so this unit is going to save households ‘hundreds of pounds’ a year by collecting ‘solar power and cheap off-peak electricity’.   Is it?   Firstly for it to collect solar power you will need solar panels.   Add another £4-6k to the install cost.   And I’m still not convinced you can get enough power from solar panels in the mostly dull British climate.   Add to that the further north you go the worse it gets.   So you will still need the grid.

Secondly we don’t really do off-peak electricity here in the UK.   We still have Economy 7 for those poor souls with storage heaters.   Night rates are about half day rates.   Looks like a nice idea, get economy 7, load up your powerwall overnight and run your house from it during the day.   Nope… cos one powerwall can’t cope!   As said previously it won’t power a kettle and toaster at the same time.   Big electricity spenders usually have big appliances such as electric heating and cooking.   Tesla can’t help you there.   You’d need multiple powerwalls and a BIG inverter (more ££) to solve this problem.

And if you’re reliant on the currently cheap off-peak electricity then you will be truly stuffed if say the Greens got into power in Westminster as they want to remove ALL baseload generation.   They plan to close all coal power stations by 2023 and all nuclear stations by 2025.   The only reason we have cheap night time electricity is because we have a large base load generation capacity served by sources that are not affected by weather.

If we went to an all renewable power source (and I’m only taking wind and solar as that is the Green’s plan) then the price will vary depending on the wind speed and the sunshine.   Electricity is only ever cheap if there is too much.   And this will need a proper smart grid with smart meters which will cost billions and probably not work very well.

And then we have the people who should know better thinking the powerwall somehow generates electricity from thin air.   I’m sorry, comparing a powerwall to other methods of generation?   I’d have expected better from someone who supposedly works in this field.   This is a store, not a generator.   To quote David L Jones, ‘Ugh!’

So we end up either making ourselves more reliant on steady baseload generation capacity which isn’t ‘green’ or we need to add billions of investment into the grid (which no doubt the govt will either foul up massively or allow each utility to design differently) which will force up prices massively.

And this doesn’t solve the problem for industry.