The joint operation between Tesla and SolarCity has designed a radical system of capturing the sun's solar energy through panels which integrate seamlessly into the roof of the house.
The proposed project aims to replace standard tiled roofs with hundreds of panels that serve the same function as a solar module.
What makes these different?
These new tiled panels, unlike previous modules, are designed to specifically cater to homeowners who are looking to replace their entire roof and integrate solar components as part of its key structure rather than just an addition on top.
With 4-5 million houses being re-roofed each year, Musk sees the potential in these new solar roofs to become a standard addition to all homes of the future.
Musk is hopeful that this merger between Tesla and SolarCity will create a range of benefits for both companies. The solar tiles will be integrated into Tesla's advanced battery storage system 'The Powerwall' equipped with a charger for an electric car.
This is sort of the integrated future. An electric car, a Powerwall and a solar roof. The key is it needs to be beautiful, affordable and seamlessly integrated
Watch: Elon Musk reveals solar roof tiles at Tesla launch. Source - C|Net YouTube
While exact details of the cost of these new solar tiles were not revealed, Musk suggests that an entirely new solar tiled roof would cost less than a standard new roof, even with the solar modules. The other added benefits in going the solar roof option is that these tiles offer greater insulation qualities than standard roofing materials.
Part of Tesla's brand success has been through their efforts to create efficient batteries capable of storing solar energy for long periods of time. Such batteries hold the key to the sustainable and carbon-free future that Musk envisions.
Musk's Sustainable Future
Tesla is in the process of building a Giga-factory in Reno, California, which will be one of the largest factories ever built upon completion. This Giga-factory is being created for the purpose of designing and producing advanced batteries for the storage of renewable energy, with Musk suggesting that just 100 of these factories could produce enough sustainable energy to power the entire world.
Watch: Elon Musk talks to Leonardo DiCaprio about Giga-factories in Before the Flood. Source - National Geographic YouTube
These Giga-factories are part of the global shift towards renewable technologies. They are designed with the intent to mitigate the potentially disastrous impacts of climate change with these issues being brought to light by Leonardo DiCaprio in his new documentary ‘Before the Flood’. (Watch the full documentary here)
In this documentary, Leonardo DiCaprio discusses battery technology and the development of Giga-factories with Elon Musk, suggesting that the sooner we take action through integrated technologies the stronger we will be placed in the future to reduce our emissions and global footprint.
Musk suggests that the only way to make this transition to a renewable future possible is getting the petrochemical industries to switch from using fossil fuels to renewable technologies. Easier said than done, Musk emphasizes the importance of putting a price on carbon with a carbon tax in the hope to influence fossil fuel consumption levels to drop due to its unattainable cost.
See more of Elon Musk's sustainability plans by watching Before The Flood here