Tesla founder Elon Musk’s recently announced plans to revolutionize the US residential roofing industry by producing solar shingles rocked the roofing and solar industries.
Tesla plans to produce shingles with integrated solar cells conjunction with SolarCity, a company Tesla is in the process of acquiring. According to Musk, these new roofing shingles represent a significant advance in solar roofing both in terms of aesthetics and cost.
SolarCity shingles are designed to look identical to conventional roofing and lower overall solar roofing costs compared to the use of solar panels. According to Inc. magazine, “While no specific prices have been revealed yet for Tesla’s roofs, Musk says they’ll cost less to install than regular roofs. They’ll also last about 50 years, double the lifespan of regular roofs, and provide better insulation.”
However, very few specific details on the new solar shingles have been released and analyst Matt Zielenski cautions that there are still a number of roadblocks to success in the solar shingle market, roadblocks that leading developers like DowChemical found insurmountable.
Prices for rooftop-mounted solar panels — the key competition for solar shingles — have fallen sharply over the past decade due to technological innovations and increasing global production and are expected to remain low.
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