A California-based company has built a solar shingle that can be nailed to a roof in packs, just like a regular shingle.
GAF Energy President Martin DeBono said although many companies have released solar shingles, they don’t actually work like shingles. Instead, they are essentially miniature solar panels that still require rails to install.
GAF Energy’s Timberline Solar shingles work like regular shingles, with a three-inch nailing strip and an overlapping pattern.
The result is a solar roof that’s more easily and quickly installed, DeBono says.
In 2016, Tesla tried to invent a solar roof idea with smaller solar panels, but the idea never gained steam. GAF Energy also attempted these traditional tile-based solar roofs.
The issue, DeBono said, was that installation can still take multiple days and 10 or more people. Solar shingles can be installed similarly to regular shingles.
Timberline Solar shingles are certified as both solar panels and construction materials — the first product to ever receive this designation.
DeBono declined to say how much each shingle costs, but said it would cost the same as if you were to get a new roof and put solar on it.
He said since more people are getting new roofs each year than there are people installing solar panels, there’s a large opportunity for some of those people to add solar energy at the same time.
Meanwhile, the solar industry is currently battling a new California proposal to cut subsidies for rooftop solar panels, as well as a plan to charge solar panel owners a flat fee for every kilowatt of solar panel capacity tied to the electric grid.
This is in response to a blackout that began on Aug. 14, 2020, after the sun set in the midst of a heatwave.
However, the U.S. is second only to China in solar installations, and more than 1.3 million Californians have solar power.
Timberline Solar panels are available now across the East Coast and Texas, with plans to expand to other states.
The push for solar continues in other states, as well, particularly with community solar policies.
In 2021, a handful of states either introduced or passed legislation to open community solar markets.
The goal is to provide affordable solar energy to all Americans, Sec. Jennifer Granholm said, regardless of whether they have a roof suitable for solar panels or even own a home.