Australia is in the grip of an energy crisis. South Australia is Australia’s fourth largest state and it has recently been subjected to a series of outages and blackouts that have raised increased fears that the rest of the country could suffer the same fate. The news of the state’s power problems reached Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who then took to Twitter stating he could solve the state’s power problems in 100 days. A statement of this nature from Musk, the founder of Tesla and SpaceX and an expert innovator in battery power solutions was not taken lightly by Australian officials.
From Twitter to the Prime Minister in Five Days
Following Musk’s comment Mike Cannon-Brookes, the co-founder of Australian software firm Atlassian Corp Plc joined in through Twitter claiming he needed seven days to lay the political groundwork for a deal. Since that point, Musk has spoken with state premiers and the prime minister. The South Australian government then released their energy plan which included 150 million AUD to develop 100 megawatts of battery storage, potentially provided by Tesla.
Some opinion leaders have stated that Australian companies should manufacture the solution, however the state is in a critical position. Australian jobs can be created through the installation, maintenance and upkeep of the batteries which need to be connected to the grid. Given the speed of the reaction from business leaders like Mike Cannon-Brookes and policy makers there is a clear and immediate need for action. Partnering with Elon Musk might be a fortuitous and decisive stroke of genius that bails South Australia out of a troublesome position.
Innovative Problem Solving
The country’s politicians are debating between a myriad of suggestions to fix the problem, but so far none of those seem to include renewables. Nuclear power has come back on the table for discussion, though it’s clearly a less appealing option given the 2011 Fukushima disaster and Chernobyl. There is a chance here that the acute power problem and the potential Tesla deal could pave the way for innovative thinking and infrastructural developments on a national level.