Solar power is making a big leap forward this year. At the beginning of August 2016, it was officially announced that Tesla, the eco-friendly tech giant headed by Elon Musk, would join forces with clean energy company SolarCity.
The purpose, said the Tesla investor presentation at the beginning of the month, is “creating the world’s leading sustainable energy company.” Elon Musk said the acquisition would bring the products together in the factory and combine sales and service to streamline the process for the consumer.
In 2015, Tesla announced the production of the power wall, a rechargeable lithium-ion battery for use in homes as back-up power in the event of an outage, and for the storage of power generated through eco-friendly means, such as solar panels.
SolarCity is a manufacturer and installer of solar panels, a system the company claims will offset approximately 178 tons of C02 per house over 30 years.
By bringing the two companies together, Tesla and SolarCity hope to increase their potential coverage area and, “improve solar value proposition by integrating storage, reducing system cost and improving reliability.” By making both power generation and power storage available from the same source, the companies can harness the buying power of consumers with overlapping interest as well as reduce the cost to them, making clean energy more practical and affordable.
Through this combination, Tesla also hopes to “catalyze solar energy adoption,” something the company says is an important step in combating air pollution. CO2 levels have risen to 404.5 parts per million as of June 2016. CO2 makes up over 80 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions, says the US Environmental protection agency, a major contributor to climate change.
The acquisition process is subject to shareholder votes and SEC oversight and is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2016.