I wouldn't call myself an environmentalist. I totally believe in global warming, and it will be a big problem for our kids' generation. I'm not convinced it's all because we ruined the world in the 20th Century, but certainly human impact has contributed to the problem.
That being said, I love new technology and energy efficient tech is pretty cool to read about and see in action. A friend recently installed a geothermal unit at his house, and I'd be lying if I said I hadn't researched and fantasized about installing solar at my house and kissing energy bills goodbye.
So I was pretty interested when Tesla announced a new home battery system yesterday. When I bought my last car, I seriously considered a Tesla, but it was just too expensive and had a lot of limitations for my usage. However, there is no doubt Tesla is the world leader in batteries, and moving into the home sounds like a slam dunk. Maybe this is the time to seriously consider an investment into solar and a home battery. In 20 years, it will have paid for itself 100 times over, right?
Wrong. I read a great article in Forbes today that reminds me that it is never a good idea to adopt a totally new technology early. Furthermore, it may be many years before solar and battery power are truly cost effective. The money quote:
"No doubt battery technology is important for the management of the power grid of the future, but at this time the average homeowner should let the big power generation utilities take the risks and bear the costs of perfecting the technology. After all, any truly viable energy source is more economic when deployed on a large scale than on a small scale."
So I will continue to follow Tesla and solar power with interest, and we all should. However, before you make a big jump into this, read the article above and realize it's certainly not ready for prime time.