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Elon Musk: Tesla Battery Will 'Fundamentally Change the Way the World Uses Energy'

Renewable energy sources like solar and wind have always been limited by their intermittency, but now Tesla CEO Elon Musk has unveiled a suite of batteries to store electricity for homes, businesses and utilities, saying a greener grid furthers the company's mission to provide pollution-free energy, reports Bloomberg.

“We’ve obviously been working on building a world-class battery, a super-efficient and affordable way to store energy,” Khobi Brooklyn, a Tesla spokeswoman, told The New York Times. “It’s just that we’ve been putting that battery in cars most of the time.”

The Tesla P85D just won the 2015 AAA Best Green Car Award, marking the second year in a row an all electric Tesla Model S has taken top honors from AAA. But Tesla has been disrupting more than just the auto industry for a while now. In February, Musk announced a partnership with SolarCity to use rooftop solar panels fitted with Tesla’s batteries to allow customers to keep that energy in-house. It's all part of Tesla's plans to revolutionize the energy grid.

"Our goal here is to fundamentally change the way the world uses energy,” Musk told Bloomberg. “We’re talking at the terawatt scale. The goal is complete transformation of the entire energy infrastructure of the world.”

Tesla’s home battery, the “Powerwall,” is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that mounts on the wall and comes in 7 kilowatt-hour or 10 kilowatt-hour versions, the company said in a statement. A larger product, the "Powerpack," can store more energy to power businesses. Deliveries will begin in late summer at prices starting at $3,000.

"Our goal here is to fundamentally change the way the world uses energy,” says Elon Musk.

Battery storage for renewable power is finally coming of age. "The battery is designed to enable so-called 'load-shifting' by charging during times when electricity prices are lower due to less demand, and discharging when demand and prices are high," says Bloomberg. It can also store solar power generated during daytime and release it at night, and serve as backup during outages, Tesla says.

Tesla hopes that its $5 billion "gigafactory" under construction near Reno, Nevada will drive down the cost of the batteries for both cars and energy-storage products through mass production. More such factories will be needed to help make the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, Musk said.

Tesla's batteries are already being used by companies such as Wal-Mart, Cargill and Jackson Family Wines, and Green Mountain Power plans to sell its home batteries to customers. Tesla has also partnered with Southern California Edison to install batteries for utilities, while Amazon and Target will pilot the batteries.

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"We are disappointed with the jury's initial decision, but we continue to believe firmly that the science confirms glyphosate-based herbicides do not cause cancer," Bayer spokesman Dan Childs said in a statement reported by The Guardian. "We are confident the evidence in phase two will show that Monsanto's conduct has been appropriate and the company should not be liable for Mr. Hardeman's cancer."

Some legal experts said that Chhabria's decision to split the trial was beneficial to Bayer, Reuters reported. The company had complained that the jury in Johnson's case had been distracted by the lawyers' claims that Monsanto had sought to mislead scientists and the public about Roundup's safety.

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"Although the evidence that Roundup causes cancer is quite equivocal, there is strong evidence from which a jury could conclude that Monsanto does not particularly care whether its product is in fact giving people cancer, focusing instead on manipulating public opinion and undermining anyone who raises genuine and legitimate concerns about the issue," he said.

Many regulatory bodies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, have ruled that glyphosate is safe for humans, but the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer found it was "probably carcinogenic to humans" in 2015. A university study earlier this year found that glyphosate use increased cancer risk by as much as 41 percent.

Hardeman's lawyers Jennifer Moore and Aimee Wagstaff said they would now reveal Monsanto's efforts to mislead the public about the safety of its product.

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