Anyone who has ever grown marijuana indoors knows that it takes a lot of energy. I once had a garden that involved a dozen 1,000 watt lights, in addition to the fans and pumps and other things that go with it, and my electricity bill was consistently between $700-800 a month. I have friends that have industrial indoor gardens, and their bills are so high that they don't even feel comfortable sharing with me how much they are. With more and more people opening gardens everyday across states that allow them, power is going to be a big issue for the marijuana industry.
One quote I heard is that indoor marijuana gardens use about 1% of America's electricity. 1% may not sound like much, but when you really wrap your head around that number, it's significant. And the industry is far from as large as it's going to be. The ever-growing appetite for energy from the marijuana industry is something that worries public utilities. That's why the new Tesla battery could be important to the marijuana industry in the near future.
For those that are not familiar with the Tesla battery, below is a brief description via GizModo.Com:
Unveiled last night, the Tesla Battery gives home owners and businesses an easy, slick, affordable way to store electricity at home. The 10kWh battery costs just $3,500 and can be "stacked" in sets of up to nine units. Larger capacity batteries of infinitely-scaleable capacity will be available to large businesses and governments. There's three general use cases for the battery: storing electricity purchased during cheaper, off-peak hours for use during high-demand periods; storing electricity generated by solar power or other renewable sources for use around the clock; and as a backup power source for when the grid goes down.
I was a Public Policy major in college, and I have always been interested in renewable energy. My favorite form of renewable energy is wave energy, which is only in its infancy, but I find it absolutely fascinating. I interned at a power company my junior and senior year of college, and got to work around a lot of talented people that were experts in the field of renewable energy. They explained to me that without give innovations in the area of energy storage, renewable energy would never reach its full potential.
When a solar panel is converting light into energy, or a windmill, or some other form of renewable energy is being generated, it either needs to be used as its being generated, or it needs to be stored. Otherwise its lost forever. That windmill can be spinning like crazy, and generating a lot of electricity, but without a way to store it or use it immediately, it might as well just be an over-sized lawn ornament. That's a big reason why the new Tesla battery could prove to be a game changer, for the marijuana industry and beyond.
The battery still has a long ways to go before it becomes a standard in the marijuana industry. The battery may be great for running a TV, but it's a different story when an industrial marijuana garden is involved. But with that being said, the people at Tesla are wicked smart, and once they see the market potential in the marijuana industry, and the amount of good that can be achieved by reducing the carbon footprint of the marijuana industry, I think they will rise to the challenge.