Malcolm Turnbull has thanked Tesla founder Elon Musk for a “great in depth discussion about energy storage” as the US multi-billionaire continues his ambitious talks to help solve South Australia’s energy crisis.
Taking to Twitter yesterday, Mr Turnbull said his talk with Mr Musk included storage’s role in “delivering affordable and reliable electricity”.
Mr Musk responded: “You’re most welcome. Very exciting to discuss the future of electricity. Renewables + storage arguably biggest disruption since DC to AC.”
Mr Turnbull said the disruptive power of battery storage was why he had asked Australia’s clean energy finance agencies to focus on storage which was “vital now w generation more distributed & variable.”
Telsa’s involvement in Australia’s electricity network problems began on Thursday when Mr Musk told his 7.7 million Twitter followers he was so confident he could fix the state’s energy problems that Tesla would get a 100MW solar and battery system installed and working within 100 days of signing a contract, or it would be free.
His offer was prompted by a challenge from Australian tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes who asked Mr Musk and Solar City founder Lyndon Rive how serious they were about their offer to provide a solar power and battery solution if the money could be raised.
Mr Musk, who estimates his 100MW battery farm would cost $33.2 million, said he was “impressed” with South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill when they spoke on the weekend in a conversation lasting about 20 minutes.
The South African-born entrepreneur who runs electric car giant Tesla and solar energy outfit SolarCity, will continue talks with the Premier in coming days, it has been reported.
South Australian Labor sources were unimpressed with the Prime Minister’s contact with Mr Musk yesterday.
“Did u tell him u thought renewable energy was an ideological obsession & of your plans to subsidise coal power?,’’ the official SA Labor Twitter handle said.
Mr Weatherill has said talks with Mr Musk were “positive” and said many local and international companies had brought proposals to his government since he declared he would make a dramatic intervention in the market.