Could Elon Musk Disrupt the Power Grid?

By Gregory Kallenberg |

Did you see Elon Musk announce his new lithium ion battery system for the home? Did you hear about it? If the answer is “no”, then you missed moment that could possibly go down in history as the moment that changed the way we think about energy and the way we generate and store our energy.

A link to the Tesla Powerwall unveiling:

At the Rational Middle, we strive to strike the balance in the conversation about energy and to bring both sides of a discussion to our audiences so they can weigh the costs/benefits on energy issues. When we went out to film our episode on renewables, the issue that kept coming up as the gating factor of them becoming a predominant energy source was power storage. In fact, one of our experts from the National Renewable Energy Lab actually called energy storage the “Holy Grail”.

A link to our “Future of Renewables” can be found HERE:


Elon Musk focused a large part of his talk on the idea that his battery backup system was for the home. The Powerwall is meant to be a backup system for a home’s solar panels storing unused power generated while the sun is shining. In essence, this could encourage more people to create a “distributed” network of power where each home was its own mini-power plant. While a distributed power system isn’t new, the idea of a home having it’s own power storage system is incredibly novel. Imagine a world where our homes and the sun generate the majority of our energy.

If Elon Musk’s vision comes to fruition and works as well as he says it will, then the Powerwall could be a game changer in a massive way, and finally help us transform and evolve our aging energy grid. As we look back on this Musk’s announcement, could this have been be that vital first essential step that we all need to take if we are truly going to start moving down the path to a clean energy future?