Elon Musk – how influential is he?

Let’s get the answer out the way quickly; Elon Musk is incredibly influential. Musk is leading the way for clean energy.  He is arguably the most talked about CEO in the world right now and there is a very real chance that the ideas and endeavours of this man are going to dictate the future of you and me. This article is going to briefly identify and give a synopsis of some of probably his 3 most influential investments thus far.
Tesla Motors
It would be foolish to start with anything but Tesla. Founded in 2003, Tesla has gone onto become one of the most talked about and sought after automotive names in the world, due to its commitment to clean energy. From the start Elon Musk has been a key player in the company and is now the CEO, with a 22% share of the company, making him by far the largest shareholder of the corporation. Tesla, led by Elon Musk are revolutionizing the motor industry, paving the way for electric vehicles to one day be the common car and fade out the need for fossil fuel dependent motor vehicles. Believe us when we say this, the shift is happening at a staggering pace, the Model 3 is by far one of the most eagerly anticipated vehicles in history, considering it’s not due for release until mid to late 2017, it’s already received an incredible 400’000 pre-orders. It’s estimated that vehicle orders so far accumulate to approximately $10 billion. The world’s biggest automotive companies have felt the presence of Tesla and are being forced to innovate their own electric cars – as of yet, none have come close to threatening Tesla’s dominance.
SolarCity Corporation 

The leading provider of solar energy in the United States, Californian based SolarCity are on a mission to shift consumers from utility based energy to that of solar. The company was founded in 2006 and at this moment, employs over 13’000 people. Although not a CEO or founder, Elon Musk has still been a major figurehead in the development of the company. He is currently the chairman and it was Musk who suggested to his cousins and current CEO’s about the potential of a solar company and has since provided them with support. However, with the rapid progression of Tesla, Musk now wants an even bigger hold and position within the company, which explains why Tesla Motors and Solar City together announced the former would be purchasing the latter, in a $2.6 billion merger deal. The deal is expected to be finalised and announced in November 2016. The collaboration does make perfect business sense.

Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (Space X)
Okay, so, if Elon Musk’s companies can’t save planet earth, then he is just going to fly us all to Mars instead. Unlike Tesla, Elon Musk has been the CEO of Space X from the very start, so if you asked him which company meant the most to him personally, he would probably point you in the direction of Space X. The business goal of Space X is really quite simple, to make humans a ‘multi-planetary’ species, Elon Musk wants to be the main that pioneered humans capabilities of living on multiple planets. In September 2016, Elon Musk announced Space X through the Interplanetary Transport System would carry at least 100 people to Mars and return more passengers. The company currently employs over 5’000 members of staff to pursue Musk’s ambition of having 1 million people living on Mars by 2035, through the utilization of thousands of rockets. Musk is famously quoted as saying “I’d like to die on Mars, just not on impact’.
Whatever, your opinions of Musk, whether he is just in it for the money or he genuinely wants to be the man to save the human species, there is no denying the innovation and courage of this man is of great benefit to planet earth.

Is Germany cutting back on renewable energies?

The world continues to look for more efficient uses of renewable energies, as it becomes a genuine reality that global warming is very much a thing as indeed the fact that we will one day run out of fossil fuels. So, why is it that Germany are doing the opposite and actually looking to curb it’s incredibly successful wind farming sector?
Don’t fear, Germany have not suddenly become a suicidal nation whom are opposed to renewable energies. In fact, their decision to do such just highlights how sensational their fight for renewable energies has been. According to leaked plans from the German federal network agency, published on Tuesday in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the government has had to halve its original target for expanding its wind farms in the gale-beaten northern flatlands because it cannot extend its power grid quickly enough to the energy-hungry south.
In 2011, German Chancellor, Angela Merkel announced that the country will look to phase out the use of nuclear reactors by 2022 in favour of renewable energies, with many critics saying it highly ambitious and likely to be unattainable due to not being able to expand
solar and wind energies quick enough. However, five years later and renewable energies have given critics a big slap in the face with the capacity of the power grid not being able to handle the vast supply of northern wind farms. Rather humorously, the state is actually being forced to pay energy companies to turn their turbines off in order to prevent the congestion of the power grid.
Lengthy protests about the construction of large pylons led to Germany eventually signing off an agreement to construct the more expensive alternative of underground cabling from North to South, a decision which has caused initial plans for the vast project to be delayed by one and a half years.
As expected, the state’s decision to reduce their renewable energy plans has been met by a number of critics and controversy. Many believe that the state’s decision to take what is deemed by many as a negative step in their renewable energies surge, will hinder the countries standing as a global pioneer for renewable energies.
Whereas, others who agree that it was a responsible decision to tackle power grid congestion claim there were a number of other much more logical decisions that could have been taken and would have been equally effective. “A more forward-looking way to meet the current challenge would have been to shut down old power stations, extend the grid faster or invest more in innovative methods to use excess energy to heat homes,” said Arne Jungjohann, the author ofEnergy Democracy – Germany’s Energiewende to Renewables.

Great work on the renewable energies front Germany, no one can argue your commitment to the cause in recent years. However, perhaps listen to Arne Jungjohann in future, he makes a good point.

 

Forget Home Furnishings, IKEA Enters The E-Bike Market

IKEA has certainly surprised us with many clever home-furnishing solutions. Most importantly, IKEA, with its roots in the super “green” country of Sweden, could not leave its homecountry’s highly socially conscious citizens disappointed. When it comes to act environmetally friendly, IKEA comes right up in the top list worldwide as leader of clean technology. In fact, IKEA has big goals for 2020 that includes a plan to obtain 100% of the energy it consumes in its stores and buildings from clean energy and to grow more wood than it uses.

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Plastic bags were far gone six years ago, CFLs and LEDs were introduced as replacement for high-energy consuming incandescent light bulbs back in 2010, affordable home solar panels were recently made available in the UK, a number of electric car stations were installed at stores across the world and now IKEA has entered the electric bike market.

IKEA E Bike FOLKV NLIG 912 Ikea verkauft eigenes E Bike namens Folkvänlig

Yes, e-bike FOLKVÄNLIG can be found in two IKEA’s retail stores located in Vienna, Austria. Still in its inception phase, the e-bike is expected to become viral and shortly reach out to many different stores. The electric bike’s design has already received various awards at the Taipei Cycle Show, Eurobike and the IF Design Award.

IKEA E Bike FOLKV NLIG 900 Ikea verkauft eigenes E Bike namens Folkvänlig

FOLKVÄNLIG in Swedish means ‘user- friendly’, which is probably what IKEA is trying to address here with its sleek e-bike that could take you anywhere within a distance of 60 to 70km, aided by a powerful electric motor of 250Watt that could get you a total pedal-assisted range up to 45mi/72km per charge.

IKEA E Bike FOLKV NLIG 094 Ikea verkauft eigenes E Bike namens Folkvänlig

The e-bike also features an easy rechargeable system to its removable in-frame lithium-ion battery pack that takes about five hours to recharge, as well as a Shimano transmission that provides six different driving modes.

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Should it prove successful, IKEA’s FOLKVÄNLIG e-bike must also come in a foldable variant, which gives the market even more room for growth.

IKEA E Bike FOLKV NLIG 118 Ikea verkauft eigenes E Bike namens Folkvänlig

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Source and photo credit: technologicvehicles.com, treehugger.com, greenoptimistic.com, ubergizmo.com, cleantechnica.com, flickr.com

Camilla G.//SMC Editor

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