Tesla's solar roof tiles
Why it's important: It's bringing the benefits of solar energy to the masses.
Solar energy is great! It's renewable! It's green! It's (basically) infinite! But, let's face it: Most solar panels are pretty damn ugly, and can quickly muck up a home's aesthetic when tacked onto the roof. That's what makes Elon Musk's big unveiling of Tesla's solar roof system such a huge deal: It combines the benefits of solar energy with the look of a regular rooftop.
The ultra-durable tempered glass roof tiles -- which Musk maintains will last a lifetime -- mimic the look of traditional roof tiles, but they allow for light to pass through onto standard flat solar cells. In turn, these charge the Tesla Powerwall batteries in the home, which the resident then draws energy from for all manner of purposes. Making the setup even sweeter is the fact that installing one of these systems would end up being significantly cheaper than replacing a traditional roof when combined with the projected utility bill savings.
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