Elon Musk unveils Tesla’s $10 trillion plan to eliminate fossil fuels

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Tech mogul Elon Musk and his company Tesla released the full text of the company’s Master Plan 3 this week, a little over a month after the highlights were unveiled at a Tesla investor meeting.

The plan lays out how the world can eliminate fossil fuel consumption in the next 20 years with a $10 trillion investment. The plan details how the world can shift entirely to renewable energy in six steps.

— Repowering the existing electricity grid with renewable sources;

— Switch to electric vehicles;

— Switch to heat pumps in residences, businesses and industrial facilities;

—Electrify high-temperature heat delivery and hydrogen production;

— Use electricity or biomass to fuel planes and boats;

— Manufacture the needed sustainable-energy infrastructure.

Several complex ideas are scattered throughout the 41-page report.

The report first argues that the current system for processing fossil fuels is inefficient and that more energy could be produced efficiently if the grid were powered by renewable energy.

“Globally, 65PWh/year of primary energy is supplied to the electricity sector, including 46PWh/year of fossil fuels; however only 26PWh/year of electricity is produced, due to inefficiencies transforming fossil fuels into electricity. If the grid were instead renewably powered, only 26PWh/year of sustainable generation would be required,” the report reads.

The report also compares electric vehicles’ efficiency to that of a popular fossil fuel-powered car: the Toyota Corolla. The report showed that the Corolla uses almost 4 times as much energy as the Tesla Model 3.

Tesla also envisions a fully electrified supply chain with planes and boats powered by renewable energy. The report argues that if shipping boats are electrified they would consume significantly less energy and that short flights can be entirely electrified with current batteries.

Longer flights, which make up 80% of air travel energy consumption, will have to rely on synthetic fuels made from biomass.  

The report claims that the plan outlined will save the planet around $4 trillion that would be normally spent on fossil fuels such as oil and coal. However, the implementation of the plan isn’t up to Tesla as the money will likely have to be spent by national governments and numerous other private companies.

“We’re trying to convey a message of hope and optimism that is based on actual physics and real calculations. No, It’s not wishful thinking. Earth can and will move to a sustainable energy economy and will do so in your lifetime,” Mr. Musk said last month.

This year’s Master Plan is the third of its kind from Mr. Musk.

The first was released in 2006 and laid out his plan to make Tesla a viable electric-vehicle maker, which has now been achieved.

The second came a decade later and focused on Tesla’s shift to self-driving vehicles and electric power storage, something still in an uncertain phase.

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