Tesla CTO: Batteries with Solar Will Lead to Cheap Electricity Within 10 Years

Energy storage technology such as lithium ion batteries is the key to popularizing solar energy generation, and that point was underscored by the feature speaker at the Intersolar energy conference in San Francisco on Monday: Tesla Motors’ chief technology officer, JB Straubel.
Straubel took the stage at Intersolar’s opening ceremony to extol the energy density and other virtues of lithium-ion battery for running electric cars and banking renewable energy to make solar and wind available on-demand after sundown or when the wind dies down.
Energy storage projects don’t always need to couple with renewable energy, however. Utilities or grid operators in California and eastern United States  are either buying energy storage services or getting ready to do in order to follow regulatory mandates or to otherwise help them run their electric grids smoothly.
Straubel said battery costs will fall faster than expected, and the same for the demand for energy storage equipment that will be paired with solar panels. The combination will create a steady flow of electricity that is cheaper than energy from fossil fuel-based power plants, and “we are within grasping distance of that goal,” he said.
“I’m quite certain that it will happen in the next 10 years,” Straubel added.