Investment Bank Morgan Stanley predicts huge numbers of homeowners will go off-grid in the coming years, due mainly to increasingly affordable photovoltaic technology and Tesla’s massive new lithium-ion battery factory in Nevada. What will this mean for you?
Morgan Stanley: Tipping point nears for going off grid
By Giles Parkinson on 25 March 2014
Investment bank Morgan Stanley says it has been overwhelmed by the response to its recent analysis which suggested that the falling costs of both solar modules and battery storage presented a potential tipping point that would encourage huge numbers of homeowners and businesses in the US to go off grid.
The initial report, published earlier this month, has been followed up by a note from Morgan Stanley highlighting the extent to which investors had been unaware of these mega trends, which threaten massive disruption in the trillion-dollar utility business.
Sure, they had heard that solar was proving popular, but had no idea of the size of the market that Morgan Stanley had identified. And while most had been skeptical of the potential impact of battery storage, they were intrigued by the potential cost falls that could be achieved by Tesla, the electric car company, and its ability to monitor power levels in batteries and schedule a battery swap in the case of depletion.
More importantly, the investors were particularly focused on how utilities might respond. Solar, they suggested, should be seen as an opportunity and utilities should look at ways of becoming enablers of these technologies, rather than barriers.