How Elon Musk’s solar roofing plan is set to transform energy generation, and the roofing industry
The (Roofing) Shape of Things To Come? Solar roofing, with panels integrated into the main roofing style, could be a winner. Image by Vittavat Apiromsene (via Shutterstock).
A mini transformation in the roofing industry is happening right now. The man behind the scheme has brought us electric cars under the Tesla name and is in the midst of developing private spacecraft (as Space X). The next big thing in roofing developments could be the SolarCity solar roofing system. Last month, Elon Musk’s solar power company have detailed their plans to reroof five million U.S. houses with SolarCity’s solar roofing system.
On announcing his plans, Elon Musk said: “people are forced to postpone solar adoption when they know a roof replacement is imminent.” Many households wishing to have solar panels have the panels fitted on top of the roofing tiles. Elon’s solution kills two birds with one stone for households wishing to have solar central heating and a replacement roof.
What’s more, the solar roofing system will be designed along traditional lines. This means a complete solar heating system could be designed with gambrel, mansard, gable, and flat roofing styles. Instead of being installed on top of the tiles, the solar panels are the tiles themselves.
Elon Musk aims to succeed from where Dow Chemical left off. The chemical company pioneered solar roofing in 2009 but at $20,000 a roof, it was a commercial failure. Even so, the product had been discontinued this June. Musk is aiming for the mass market.
His fresh approach to solar roofing isn’t only a boon for households wishing to get their roof fixed (as well as having solar panels). SolarCity’s panels could be useful for architects, self-builders, and new-build projects. Could something of this nature help to revive our construction industry where house building figures have been at the lowest since the 1920s?
Imagine if we saw a similar scheme designed for traditional slate roofs. Now that would be amazing.