Elon Musk is a man of many hats, pursuing everything from space travel to renewable energy. One of his newest developments focuses on a new solar energy product: roofs.
Tesla’s solar panel roof uses photovoltaic shingles to produce energy for a household. Unlike typical solar panels, which often stick out like a sore thumb, the design blends seamlessly into a home and looks like a normal roof. Solar usage is growing among American consumers as installation/material costs continue to plummet. However, typical panel designs have remained unchanged. If the new low-profile aesthetic of the roof catches on, it could be a game changer for the industry.
Is this a widely available technology, or will it be confined to the status of luxury product? Musk points out many cost-saving qualities of the technology. Tesla is offering a lifetime warranty on the panels, and claims that their durability is triple that of a standard roof. And if one takes into account the energy produced by the roof over the years, it’s cost is far lower than installing a normal roof. However, for those who don’t need a new roof, it is still far cheaper to install standard panels, and consumers may be slow to adopt a technology that is complicated and hard to understand. We’ll wait and see what happens. If there’s anything we’ve learned from the world of Elon Musk, it’s to expect the unexpected.