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الرئيسيةTop NewsWhen Elon Musk and storage batteries help Australia get off coal

When Elon Musk and storage batteries help Australia get off coal

Elon Musk’s tweets don’t always spark controversy. In proof: Australia is turning the page on coal, and this shift toward a cleaner energy mix will have an origin: Tesla boss Elon Musk reveals article by bloomberg on April 4th. It all started in 2016. That year, the province of South Australia, where nearly two million Australians live, suffered an unprecedented power outage. If the region bets on renewable energy, by developing wind farms, it is struggling to produce electricity. The community is unable to replace its last coal-fired power plant, which closed a few months ago. To meet its electricity needs, it imports electricity from neighboring regions, and considers various options to be less dependent on other regions.

This is when Elon Musk would get his start, and the eccentric billionaire would be proud to have a solution: to build the world’s largest battery, which would make it possible to store renewable energies. Since solar and wind power are intermittent, a giant battery system can store electricity to be consumed not when it is produced, but when it is actually needed. The proposal did not go unnoticed. Australian software billionaire and climate activist Mike Cannon challenged Tesla CEO Brooks, asking: “ Elon Musk, are you really serious? Can you guarantee 100 megawatts in 100 days? “. to reply: Tesla will install and commission the system 100 days after signing the contract, otherwise it will be free. Is this serious enough for you? ».

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A third of the country’s coal-fired power plants will be shut down by 2030

And to the surprise of many people, Tesla kept its promise. A few months later, the giant electricity storage unit, consisting of lithium-ion batteries, was opened. Other similar systems followed. These units have enabled Australia to benefit from less polluting coal-based electricity production in the region.

This transition will be on track to be adopted across the country. Because all of its regions are shutting down coal-fired power plants. New South Wales, the island’s most populous state, will lose a powerhouse in April. Eraring, the largest in the country, will close its doors in 2025. One of the oldest units, the Yallourn unit, should be decommissioned in 2028. It’s very simple: Among the 15 major coal-fired power plants that supply the grid is the National Power Plant in Australia, the third plant should be officially closed by 2030. In less than 20 years, all coal-fired power plants in the country could be closed.

How can they be replaced, when the country is also shutting down gas power plants, and nuclear power is not an option chosen? After establishing coal, solar, wind and hydraulic power production units. It is estimated that one in three homes has solar panels, and this percentage could increase in the coming years. And Elon Musk’s battery system could facilitate a broad transition to this energy mix. Significant investments remain to make renewable energy production and storage linked to the existing electricity grid. The amount of the bill, according to our colleagues: $ 215 billion.

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