The technology guru and founder of Tesla, Elon Musk, is betting it big on his latest push to make the world a better, more sustainable planet. The man is throwing 2.6 billion dollars at a new solar panel business that he plans to be atop the majority of customers roofs who are in the market for renewable energy. The billionaire recently showed off his solar roof tiles that just look like they’re part of a traditional roof design as a tile. Doing this would eliminate the need to install large clunky panels on top of an existing roof as these solar tiles are integrated directly into the roofing, making for a much sleeker look and cost effective too.
He stated the goal for the company is to make solar power roofs that look better than the not so seamless approaches up to now, last longer, have better insulation and actually have an installed cost that is LESS than a normal roof + the cost of electricity. His idea is buddied up to his other technology that is already out there in a longer lasting home batter called the Powerwall. By having a battery within the house the solar panels would charge that battery and it would eliminate having to be hooked up to the traditional power grid at all. In Elon’s mind it would be a completely integrated future in these households. Musk’s whole ideal philosophy of a fossil free household is that it needs to be “Beautiful, affordable, and seamlessly integrated.”
With Musk being the largest shareholder of his Tesla company, and also SolarCity, which is the company that would install all the necessary technology to make this proposed idea happen. SolarCity recently merged with Tesla after it has been reported they were losing money, and some saying this is a way to pull them out of a failing business with a completely fresh approach. Elon says the merger is a necessary one to drastically cut costs, and production times on the products and of course those savings being passed onto the customers.
This new product has been seen as surprising to some as these solar roof shingles/tiles have been tried before on the market. The company behind that attempt, Dow Chemical, said it will be stopping production of their solar roof shingle product after it was launched to market more than 5 years ago. Elon has claimed however that Tesla’s product looks much better than any product like it out there currently. Tesla also will be offering them in quite a range of styles to suit just about any home.
These glass tiles should appeal to any homeowner looking to replace existing stretches of roofing or to people building new homes. They were shown off on the set of a Desperate Housewives TV show home where you can’t even tell the roof has solar on it, they are that well integrated. The look of traditional bulky solar panels has played a large roll in why a good chunk of the existing home owner market hasn’t yet adopted the renewable energy approach. Musk is certainly hoping to change that as a large part of his sales pitch revolves around just how good they look in that they simply look like a regular roof.
Although many might see Elon Musk as a purely money hungry businessman, he’s made his intentions pretty clear over time that although of course he’s in it to build a big business, he’s also highly concerned about climate change and creating a sustainable world to live in. Big ideas take a big thinker to dream and a savvy businessman like Musk can go a long way to executing a brighter future for the world. If you really take a step back, we can’t continue to power the world on fossil fuels forever. Sooner or later renewable energy is where we must end up and solar just so happens to have the highest potential. One electric car, one solar panel, one battery at a time.