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Tesla's Gigafactory paves the road to the renewable energy future

Facebook/Tesla Motors

Elon Musk just unveiled details of Tesla's "Gigafactory" — a giant-scale battery manufacturing facility that will pump out huge quantities of lithium ion batteries, as used in Tesla's electric vehicles.

This should mean cheaper batteries in electric vehicles.

But, as Business Insider's Rob Wile argues, it probably has equal and possibly greater significance for renewable energy storage:

[P]ower storage is the key to unlocking widespread renewable energy. For renewables to work on scale, they need to be able to provide a continuous current flow, something difficult to achieve when the wind isn't blowing or sun isn't shining. [Business Insider]

This could be explosive news for traditional power companies. With solar energy already falling rapidly in price — and set to match coal on price in the next decade — reliable, cheap battery storage is the final piece in the renewable energy jigsaw puzzle.