Construction of a Tesla Megapack in West Sussex
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Elon Musk has revealed that Tesla could soon help provide “sustainable energy for all of Earth”, using green technologies like heat pumps. Speaking during an Investor Day event at the Tesla Gigafactory in Texas, US, the billionaire CEO revealed his “Master Plan 3”, highlighting his plans for a “fully sustainable earth”. As part of his plan, Tesla will lead the global effort to end the use of fossil fuels like oil and natural gas, bringing about a transition to a “fully sustainable Earth”.
This comes as the world grapples with an unprecedented fossil fuel energy crisis, the wholesale cost of gas has soared to unprecedented levels, leaving billions around the world struggling to pay for gas and electricity.
At the event, Mr Musk highlighted various solutions to the energy and climate crisis, as his Master Plan includes an acceleration of renewable energy, more electric vehicles, and installing heat pumps in homes and buildings.
The Tesla CEO also spoke about using high-temperature heat delivery and green hydrogen for industrial applications, along with planes and boats powered by hydrogen and electricity, in a bid to create “a sustainable energy civilization.”
Tesla estimates that globally it will take around $10trillion in investments to help make this dream a reality, with Mr Musk adding that it’s “not a big number relative to the global economy.”
He said: “If you look at the total world economy, it’s just under $US100 trillion. So if this was spread out, say over 10 years, it would be 1 percent of the global economy. Over 20 years, it would be half a percent, very doable.
“There is a clear path to sustainable energy on Earth. It doesn’t require destroying natural habitats. It doesn’t require us to be austere and stop using electricity and sort of be in the cold or anything.”
The world’s richest man also shattered some common myths about renewable energy, saying that it would require only about 0.2 percent of the Earth’s surface to produce 30 terawatts of wind and solar needed to power the global economy.
Tesla executives also claimed that achieving this dream would not require them to mine a significant amount of ore, and would require less mineral extraction, not more.
Mr Musk also noted that since green technologies like heat pumps and electric cars were far more efficient than their fossil fuel counterparts, in such a future, the world would need a lot less power.
Describing fossil fuels as “dirty and wasteful”, he noted that the electric future would cost the world just 60 percent of the cost of investing in oil, gas and coal.
However, one of the biggest criticisms of renewable energy is its intermittency, and to solve that, Mr Musk estimates that another 240 terrawatt hours of electricity storage was needed.
In his speech, Mr Musk said: “I really wanted today to be not just about Tesla investors who own stock, but really anyone who is an investor in Earth.
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“What we want to convey is a message of hope and optimism … and optimism that is based on actual physics, and real calculations.
“It’s not wishful thinking. We can and will move to a sustainable energy economy and we will do so in your lifetime.”
“And in terms of wind and solar, how much land would be used, it’s less than 0.2 percent of the land area of Earth. Generally, people don’t realise quite how much energy is reaching us from the sun.
“It’s roughly a gigawatt per square kilometer and sun doesn’t shine all the time … but you can put wind and solar often in the same place. So a lot of places that currently have wind, you could have solar there and it doubled your energy.”
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