The company Ilona Mask SolarCity intends to become the largest manufacturer of solar panels in the world
Recently, Elon Musk most often appears in the news in connection with his companies Tesla Motors and SpaceX. However, his interests are not limited to electric vehicles and rockets. Another Mask company, SolarCity, is engaged in solar energy. This company builds solar power plants and is one of the largest in the US, but does not produce solar panels itself. Rather, it did not produce until June 16, 2014. On this day, SolarCity acquired panel maker Silveo for $ 350 million. At the time of the purchase, Silveo planned to build a solar panel plant in New York with a combined capacity of one gigawatt per year. Musk confirmed that the plant will be built in the next two years.
Thus, SolarCity becomes one of the leading manufacturers of solar panels in the world. But Mask’s plans are much larger - in a few years he plans to build one or more plants, the productivity of which will be an order of magnitude higher. Elon Musk believes that by 2040, solar energy will produce up to 40% of the world's electricity. To achieve this figure, it is necessary to commission 400 gigawatts of solar power per year.
Silveo has a unique technology for producing low-cost and at the same time efficient photocells. Their cells have an efficiency of 22% and, with relatively small volumes of production until recently, they are comparable to the less efficient cells, which are produced most massively.
Mask's plans for the construction of huge factories of solar panels have something in common with his project of a " gigafactory " of batteries. First of all, batteries are needed for the Mask to build a third-generation electric car and make it truly massive. However, electric vehicles have very stringent requirements for battery capacity per unit mass - as soon as the battery capacity drops to 70% -80% of the original, the battery is no longer suitable for the car, since its mileage from one charge is noticeably reduced. But in a power plant such a battery can serve for many more years until its life is fully exhausted.
Thus, in a few years, in the hands of Mask will be the largest (or at least one of the largest) plants in the world that produce key components for the construction of solar power plants: panels and batteries. Unsurprisingly, after the announcement of the deal, SolarCity shares jumped 17.5% .