Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk has unveiled a building-integrated solar photovoltaic panel, with the aim to make rooftop solar more affordable, better looking and longer lasting that a regular tiled roof.
In collaboration with SolarCity, the jointly branded camouflaged solar panel eliminates the need for separate roofing materials and solar panels traditionally used in roof-mounted solar.
Instead, the stylish glass roofing tiles have photovoltaics embedded into the material, creating a seamless look nearly indistinguishable from conventional tiling.
By altering the look and affordability of solar, Musk aims to make solar “as appealing as electric cars have become”, and tackle domestic solar demand. Additionally, Tesla have made a key component of the solar roof’s functionality its partnership with the company’s energy-storing Powerwall (an onsite, and potentially off-grid, energy storage system).
Introducing these products into the market highlights the feasibility of a shift towards decentralised energy models using renewable energy.
This product therefore, could not only increase access to cheap and clean energy, but also increase individuals’ awareness of energy consumption and accelerate the transition to a sustainable energy system.