The current population consumes 20 trillion kWh of energy every year; in 2016, C02 concentration levels permanently exceeded the 400 parts per million threshold, resulting in the warmest September in the United States for136 years.
If C02 levels continue to rise at this exponential rate, climate scientists warn that our environment will be catastrophically impacted making it increasingly urgent for the building industries to make a long-term commitment to developing sustainable materials and renewable sources of energy that can be implemented on a global scale.
A solar revolution
Tesla, and their solar subsidiary company, SolarCity, are leading the domestic solar revolution. 2017 saw the launch of the energy giant’s proprietary solar solution, the Solar Roof. Unlike traditional solar panels which are notoriously cumbersome, a factor that reportedly puts many potential customers off going solar, these have been designed to resemble traditional roof tiles.
Made from tempered glass, solar tiles are three times stronger yet half the weight of standard roof tiles, and won’t degrade over time in the way that slate, asphalt or concrete might. Four tile options are currently available, Textured Glass, Slate Glass, Tuscan Glass, and Smooth Glass, which have been designed to suit a variety of architectural styles.
At an average cost of $21.85 per square foot the Solar Roof is competitively priced, but ultimately it pays for itself by eliminating electricity bills. Customers select the number of solar tiles based on their home’s electricity consumption which can be calculated on the Solar Roof calculator — a tool providing homeowners with a breakdown of their average household energy consumption and the amount of sunlight a neighbourhood receives annually, in order to suggest the best style, quantity and price of solar tile for your project. Homeowners who install 30 solar tiles on their roof can hope to generate $53,500 worth of electricity annually. Tesla offers a lifetime guarantee on all solar products.
Building a renewable energy ecosystem
Already celebrated for their game-changing electric cars, Tesla is in the process of building renewable energy ecosystem for the domestic environment that is affordable, scalable and sustainable.
When combined with Tesla Powerwall, a unit which stores the collected energy from the solar roof, the home is transformed into a personal utility and can power an entire home with 100% renewable energy, even at night, and when the grid goes down. Similarly, customers who own an electric car might want to invest in more PV tiles so that they can collect enough energy to power both their home and their car.
Tesla is currently trialling their Solar Roof at select locations across the United States and plans to start installation outside the US in 2018.
All images and videos are courtesy of Tesla.