Reddit users ask Elon Musk about the Mars Mission on an AMA
Elon Musk unveiled the latest solar roof technology, offering a sustainable way to power an entire house, and keeping it off the grid. Image Source: AMA

Elon Musk unveiled the prototypes for a solar roof, built in partnership with SolarCity, in October of last year. The final product will most likely be available for purchase somewhere in the middle of this year.

The entrepreneur has received a lot of praise for his sustainable energy projects, most people arguing that solar-powered homes are a step in the right direction. However, their cost might get in the way, even though some people see it as a very affordable green alternative.

Advancements in solar energy for home use might create an effective market monopoly for Tesla, but it might also generate a competitive industry. In any case, commercial renewable energy is a benefit not only for this society but generations to come.

Tesla’s solar-powered shingles, a recap

The entrepreneur revealed four different types of shingles designed to fit into various kinds of homes. His demonstration, however, seems tailored to a suburban lifestyle that not all Americans currently enjoy.

The tiles come in four distinctive styles, including one for Tuscan-type roofs. All four of them are tempered glass, and each piece contains a hidden solar cell that is practically invisible to the naked eye.

Aesthetic concerns aside, the photovoltaic shingles transmit energy directly to a Powerwall 2 battery system, which would be responsible for giving electricity to an entire home. Tesla states that their 14 kWh Powerwall 2 can power a two-bedroom house for a full day.

 The possible cons of Tesla’s new solar home

Most online reviewers have pointed out at maintenance as a possible indicator of further expenses, even though the solar roofs would substantially cut (if not end entirely) the power bill on a given home.

Another setback might be the cost. The Powerwall 2 sells for $5,500, which coupled with the solar roof might elevate the cost of sustainable living close to $20,000. Market experts currently estimate the cost of a single roof to be between $12,000 and $15,000.

Another money-related issue might be installation, though it is quite likely that Tesla will come up with a feasible solution to keep people from putting up and wiring hundreds of solar cells at a time.

The bigger picture still looks better in regards to green technologies

Tesla’s solar home system will be expensive; there is no doubt about that. However, as a long-term solution for energy consumption issues, the project is a significant step towards a world built on renewable energy.

The Trump administration might bring some changes in regards to funding and regulations for green companies, as the President’s cabinet contains some skeptic personalities. Companies like Tesla will help steer the narrative towards clean living if they succeed.

On the other hand, as not everybody has access to their products, innovation will also need to come from more locally-oriented companies.

Source: Tesla