05 Mar Solar Roofing
Late last year tech giant Elon Musk announced a new roofing system that would turn your home or business’s roof into its own power generator via solar energy. You can watch the announcement here: Tesla Announcement. Currently, information on costs and availability are limited so it’s hard to dissect Elon’s claim of solar roofing being cheaper than a standard roof. We do know however that Tesla’s current battery options likely to be used with these roofing systems cost anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 depending on battery capacity and power output. Their current highest capacity battery is capable of 14 kWh, most U.S. households use around 30 kWh in a typical day. That said, multiple batteries can be purchased. Generating half or even all of your home’s own energy does sound great, but is it too good to be true? Below we will look at some of the pros and cons of a system like Tesla has announced.
- Generating your home’s energy free of cost.
- Tax incentives that help with the cost of installing these technologies.
- Clean energy. Solar energy creates no harmful byproducts to generate power.
- Being off the grid. Being self-reliant is a real selling point.
- It’s possible that the system would pay for itself over time.
- Dramatically reduce you and your family’s carbon footprint.
- You can sell unused energy to your local electric company.
- Expensive to purchase.
- Most homes will need to be rewired and have their roof structure built up to support these systems.
- Battery costs and limitations. Currently, you’d have to purchase several batteries to support an American home.
- Maintenance. Power goes out? No calling the utility man here, you’re the tech.
- Durability, there are many durable solar cells in use today, but Tesla’s is new and not time-tested.
- Return on investment could take a long time.
- Tax incentives are currently temporary.
- Weather limitations.
In conclusion, solar roofing technology is definitely an enticing option as a low risk/high reward investment but installation costs and battery costs can add up. The current prices of these types of systems will be out of reach for most Americans. There are companies that lease solar systems but going that way defeats the purpose of using solar energy in my opinion. That said, who wouldn’t want to generate their own clean energy? The idea of never having to pay another electric bill is fascinating.
Time will tell if solar roofing ends up being a boom or bust. I’m hoping boom.