Speaking at a shareholder meeting this week, Musk said the Powerwall would undergo the upgrade because he “took some negative feedback to heart” after the May 1 launch.

Potential buyers reportedly claimed that the 2 kilowatt (kw) output was not enough to run a standard house.

Continuous-use capacity will now go from 2.2kw to 5kw, while at peak usage, the system will be able to deliver 7kw.

Musk claims the added juice will allow the battery system to power an entire house, provided the occupants aren’t running energy-hungry air condition units.

The Powerwall, still priced at $4,000 for the base model, is targeted at customers with solar PV panels on the roof. The system stores energy when the sun is shining and delivers it when needed.

Deliveries of the system will start in the summer, according to Tesla’s website.

Clean energy revolution?

Tesla’s foray into energy storage has been hailed as a revolutionary breakthrough for renewables, as more storage capacity could smooth out the delivery of clean energy into the grid and directly into peoples homes.

Experts have also called the system “another nail in the coffin of conventional utilities” as it could speed the transition to home-based energy generation such as rooftop solar.

However Musk said last week that he expects 80% of Tesla’s storage capacity to be used by utilities as backups during power failure, rather than in homes, .

Business is booming

Regardless, Tesla appears to be tapping into a burgeoning market, with its new offerings. The company reportedly took 38,000 orders for the Powerwall and 2,500 for the larger, utility-scale Powerpack, within a week of launching last month.

Some of the first Powerpack systems will be deployed in Ireland early next year, as part of a pilot to help integrate renewable energy sources into the Irish grid and allow Tesla to explore commercial opportunities in Europe.

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) warned yesterday that the planet must triple its energy storage capacity by 2030 to support the expected development of renewable energy. In the UK, a grid-scale system of energy storage could reportedly cut the cost of decarbonisation by £3.5bn.

Emerging markets

Just today, Lux research released new analysis claiming that China’s advanced energy storage market will be worth $8.7bn in 2025, more than quadrupling from the current $1.7bn

Driven by environmental problems, a growing auto industry, and a big policy push, transport applications will dominate with  85% share of the revenues.

Overall, revenues will grow slower than volumes on account of continually falling battery and systems prices. 

Brad Allen

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