Glenn strongly believes that many of the solutions to the problems facing the world can be found in Silicon Valley, a place where business and creativity intersect to drive innovation. Inventor and entrepreneur Elon Musk may just be the embodiment of that idea, having built companies revolutionizing the automobile industry and space travel.
But Musk doesn’t want to just power your car — he wants to provide clean, renewable energy to the whole world. Thursday night, he laid out a bold vision for the future and how Tesla Energy will be a part of it.
"The issue with existing batteries is that they suck," Musk said. "They are expensive, unreliable and bad in every way."
Tesla is going to fix that.
The first product Musk revealed was the PowerWall, a home battery system that can store energy from renewable sources like solar or wind power. A battery can be used to power home appliances during the event of an outage, or can be combined with additional batteries (up to nine) to take a home completely off the grid.
"Our goal here is to change the way the world uses energy at an extreme scale," Musk told reporters.
The batteries will solve a key issue with renewable energy sources like solar power - their intermittent energy generation. "The sun does not shine at night," he joked.
Musk believes these batteries could revolutionize the developing world in the same way that cell phones have connected people across the globe who aren't serviced by traditional landlines and wired internet connections. A person in a remote area could use the battery to store energy collected from solar panels or other power sources that aren't part of the traditional grid system.
"Being able to just have this solution that just works wherever you are is going to be incredibly helpful to people who don't have electricity today," he said.
Musk also unveiled the PowerPack, infinitely scaleable to power entire cities and beyond.
Musk said that 160 million battery packs could transition the United States to be fully solar powered, and 900 million units you could "make all electricity generation in the world renewable". With 2 billion PowerPacks, all transport, heating, and electricity generation could be solar-powered.
"This is within the power of humanity to do," Musk said, pointing out that there are 2 billion vehicles on the road that are refreshed over twenty years. "It is not impossible, it is something that we can do."
The patents for the batteries and the factories that make them are all open source, and Musk believes other companies will join Tesla to make his dream a reality.
Watch the keynote below: