Good afternoon, off-grid world. The off-grid news deck has been cleared in recent weeks by the Tesla Powerwall announcement, alongside multiple viewpoints on its benefits, drawbacks, and ramifications for the industry. We also have a few bits and pieces on projects in Canada, India, and Kenya. Follow our off-grid editor on Twitter for more off-grid news.
The big story over the last fortnight has been the Tesla Powerwall, which managed to make the mainstream press salivate in excitement and those in the know to sneer. The Register took some shots at the Powerwall, calling it ‘wimpier‘ than existing batteries. Australia’s The Conversation took a more balanced view, but still managed to avoid the sense of messianic triumph that characterised much of the Powerwall’s reception. Business Spectator really likes the Powerwall, though, claiming that it ‘changes everything‘. For a great technical rundown on the the Powerwall, head over to Engineering.com.
The Tesla announcement has also been felt across the industry. InDaily ran a story with South Africa-based Zen Energy Systems, whose people said magnanimously that they welcome the competition in the market.
SolarCity has also stated its intention to align itself with Tesla. Writing on the company blog, co-founder and CTO Peter Rive said that its systems, which include Tesla batteries, are now two-thirds the price they were a year ago. Elsewhere on the SolarCity website, they have posted a nice run-through of the technical details.
India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has received applications for potential channel partners for its off-grid and decentralised solar programmes. The full list can be found on the MNRE website.
Powerhive announced that its subsidiary, Powerhive East Africa, has received a utility concession to generate, distribute, and sell electricity to the Kenyan public. The news comes as Powerhive announced the end of two years of testing for its off-grid metering and control solutions, according to Solar Server. The end of testing, said the company, means that they can start to commercialise and scale-up the technology.
NOTES AND NUGGETS
Nice piece on battery storage in The Conversation, following the media storm that has been the Tesla Powerwall.
Gram Power managed to bag itself a nice write-up in Business Standard.
Planet Save has done a write up on SolarAid.
A man in New Zealand facing house arrest has run into a judicial snag with his choice to go off-grid, according to The Marlborough Express. Hopefully, that is not a situation that should affect too many of the fine readers of this digest.
Welcome back to the digest, Canada. We have missed you. In the time since we last saw you, the Judith Fisher Center in British Columbia has had one of its campuses go off the grid. More information can be found here.