Freedonia Roofing Expert Weighs in on Elon Musk’s Solar Plans

PRNewswire/ — Tesla founder Elon Musk recently announced plans to revolutionize the US Residential Roofing industry by producing solar shingles in conjunction with SolarCity, a company Tesla is in the process of acquiring. According to Musk, these new roofing shingles represent a significant advance in solar roofing both in terms of aesthetics and cost.

SolarCity shingles are designed to look identical to conventional roofing and lower overall solar roofing costs compared to the use of solar panels. According to Inc. magazine, “While no specific prices have been revealed yet for Tesla’s roofs, Musk says they’ll cost less to install than regular roofs. They’ll also last about 50 years, double the lifespan of regular roofs, and provide better insulation.”

However, very few specific details on the new solar shingles have been released and analyst Matt Zielenskicautions that there are still a number of roadblocks to success in the solar shingle market.  Roadblocks that leading developers like Dow Chemical found insurmountable. Prices for rooftop-mounted solar panels — the key competition for solar shingles — have fallen sharply over the past decade due to technological innovations and increasing global production and are expected to remain low. Disagreements between electricity providers, homeowners, and state regulatory agencies over the impact of “net metering” may also slow solar’s market penetration. And it remains to be seen whether these shingles can deliver the cost savings and performance they promise.

The Residential Roofing market is forecast to reach over $10 billion by 2020, according to Zielenski in a new study from the Freedonia Group, but almost none of those sales will be attributed to solar shingles. “Solar shingles are still at least 10 to 15 years away from having a significant impact on the US roofing market as a whole.” However, as with Tesla vehicles, in the shorter term “there are sure to be high-income or environmentally conscious early adopters who want to be at the forefront of technology and if Tesla’s solar shingles are able to reduce installation costs as much as promised for these customers, more cautious consumers may be willing to add these products to their homes in the future”.

The new Residential Roofing study, written by Zielenski, can be accessed here:

About The Freedonia Group – The Freedonia Group, a division of, is a leading international industrial research company publishing more than 100 studies annually. Since 1985 we have provided research to customers ranging in size from global conglomerates to one-person consulting firms. More than 90% of the industrial companies in the Fortune 500 use Freedonia Group research to help with their strategic planning. Each study includes product and market analyses and forecasts, in-depth discussions of important industry trends, market share information and profiles of the leading industry players. Reports can be purchased at and are also available on www.marketresearch.comand

SOURCE The Freedonia Group

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