Musk's master plan promises solar for all

The recent stock swap takeover bid by Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors of SolarCity, a company he co-founded with his cousins, was a step towards the billionaire entrepreneur’s “master plan” to deliver accessible solar power for all, Musk wrote Wednesday on his Tesla blog.

Titled “Master Plan Part Deux”, the blog post outlines how Musk intends to fold SolarCity and Tesla Motors into one entity, the latter becoming a bonafide renewable energy company that just so happens to do it all – solar panels on rooftops, Powerwall battery packs in the garage and a sleek electric vehicle in the driveway.

“We need to combine and break down the barriers inherent to being separate companies,” he wrote of Tesla and SolarCity, which is the largest provider of residential solar lease packages in the U.S.

“That they are separate at all,” Musk continued, “ despite similar origins and pursuit of the same overarching goal of sustainable energy, is largely an accident of history.” As noted by Bloomberg recently, Tesla has subtly changed its mission statement on its website from ‘Sustainable Transport’ to ‘Sustainable Energy’, and Musk’s words would suggest that change is afoot as the merger of the two firms gathers pace.

Hence, the master plan, part deux, in which Musk outlines three steps he believes will facilitate this evolution of his companies and, most importantly, nurture an organization able to deliver on his vision of fully decentralized, clean and affordable energy for homeowners across the U.S. and, later, the world.

“The point of all this was, and remains,” he said, “accelerating the advent of sustainable energy, so that we can imagine far into the future and life is still good. That’s what ‘sustainable’ means. It’s not some silly, hippy thing – it matters for everyone.”

Musk’s own subheaders highlighted “Integrating energy generation and storage” as a key step the company must take, with the CEO outlining his hopes of creating a smoothly integrated and ‘beautiful solar-roof-with-battery’ that just works. “The time has come to bring them [Tesla and SolarCity] together,” he wrote.

Investors have so far been cool on Tesla’s plans to merge with SolarCity, with critics quick to questions Musk’s short-sightedness while praising his longer-term vision. Others have remarked that the idea of a monthly payment package covering PV, storage and a Tesla Motors lease is just what the industry needs, with Musk best placed to deliver that.