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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.
For the future to be good, we need electric transport, solar power and (of course) ... pic.twitter.com/8mwVWukQDL
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 29, 2015
“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.
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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Global Banks, Led by JPMorgan Chase, Invested $1.9 Trillion in Fossil Fuels Since Paris Climate Pact
By Sharon Kelly
A report published Wednesday names the banks that have played the biggest recent role in funding fossil fuel projects, finding that since 2016, immediately following the Paris agreement's adoption, 33 global banks have poured $1.9 trillion into financing climate-changing projects worldwide.
By Patti Lynn
2018 was a groundbreaking year in the public conversation about climate change. Last February, The New York Times reported that a record percentage of Americans now believe that climate change is caused by humans, and there was a 20 percentage point rise in "the number of Americans who say they worry 'a great deal' about climate change."
England faces an "existential threat" if it does not change how it manages its water, the head of the country's Environment Agency warned Tuesday.
By Jessica Corbett
A new analysis revealed Tuesday that over the past two decades heat records across the U.S. have been broken twice as often as cold ones—underscoring experts' warnings about the increasingly dangerous consequences of failing to dramatically curb planet-warming emissions.
By Madison Dapcevich
Ask any resident of San Francisco about the waterfront parrots, and they will surely tell you a story of red-faced conures squawking or dive-bombing between building peaks. Ask a team of researchers from the University of Georgia, however, and they will tell you of a mysterious string of neurological poisonings impacting the naturalized flock for decades.
The initial cause of the fire was not yet known, but it has been driven by the strong wind and jumped the North Santiam River, The Salem Statesman Journal reported. As of Tuesday night, it threatened around 35 homes and 30 buildings, and was 20 percent contained.
The unanimous verdict was announced Tuesday in San Francisco in the first federal case to be brought against Monsanto, now owned by Bayer, alleging that repeated use of the company's glyphosate-containing weedkiller caused the plaintiff's cancer. Seventy-year-old Edwin Hardeman of Santa Rosa, California said he used Roundup for almost 30 years on his properties before developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
"Today's verdict reinforces what another jury found last year, and what scientists with the state of California and the World Health Organization have concluded: Glyphosate causes cancer in people," Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook said in a statement. "As similar lawsuits mount, the evidence will grow that Roundup is not safe, and that the company has tried to cover it up."
Judge Vince Chhabria has split Hardeman's trial into two phases. The first, decided Tuesday, focused exclusively on whether or not Roundup use caused the plaintiff's cancer. The second, to begin Wednesday, will assess if Bayer is liable for damages.
"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.
However, a remark made by Chhabria during the trial and reported by The Guardian was blatantly critical of the company.
"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.
"Now we can focus on the evidence that Monsanto has not taken a responsible, objective approach to the safety of Roundup," they wrote in a statement reported by The Guardian.
Hardeman's case is considered a "bellwether" trial for the more than 760 glyphosate cases Chhabria is hearing. In total, there are around 11,200 such lawsuits pending in the U.S., according to Reuters.
University of Richmond law professor Carl Tobias told Reuters that Tuesday's decision showed that the verdict in Johnson's case was not "an aberration," and could possibly predict how future juries in the thousands of pending cases would respond.