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Solar roofs don’t get full US tax credits – here’s why a fix is urgent

The solar roof industry is such a new – yet burgeoning – industry that it’s not really included in local, state, or federal policy. Updating incentives, policies, and regulations could help expand the adoption of solar roofs. With the Biden administration’s strong focus on carbon reduction, the solar investment tax credit (ITC) seems to be safe through 2024. But as it’s written today, integrated solar roofing does not fully qualify. 

The ITC was meant to encourage greater adoption of solar and reduce the cost and access to consumers. Electrek spoke with Keally DeWitt, vice president, marketing & public policy at GAF Energy, about why updating the ITC to include new technologies will spur innovation and speed the US transition to 100% clean energy.

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Here’s what’s coming in building-integrated solar (BIPV)’s future


The growth in building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) – solar PV modules that are flush with the existing roof and perform the waterproofing function of shingles or tiles – since Tesla announced its solar roof in 2016 has been largely disappointing. Since then, BIPV has been a niche part of the residential solar industry, perceived as too expensive or experimental compared to the cost of separately installing solar on top of a traditional roof.

But big drops in solar cost and an increase in panel efficiency over the past few years, combined with innovation in business models, mean that BIPV could become the most popular residential solar option soon.

Electrek‘s Michelle Lewis spoke with Martin DeBono, president of GAF Energy, about BIPV and the future of residential solar. GAF Energy is part of Standard Industries and is a sister company to roofing manufacturer GAF, the largest roofer in North America.

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residential solar

Guess what, America? Both Republicans and Democrats nearly equally support solar

A new study published by Nature Energy on residential solar found that “34% of members of solar-adopting households are registered Democrats as compared with 31% in control households. In solar-adopting households, 20% are registered Republicans, as compared with 22% in control households,” according to PV Magazine.


EGEB: JPMorgan Chase leads with the world’s largest bifacial solar rooftop — and lending to fossil-fuel companies, more

bifacial solar

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • JPMorgan launches the world’s largest commercial installation of bifacial solar modules — and also leads in fossil-fuel lending.
  • Energy CEOs voice defiance on efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
  • Video: The top 15 largest oil-producing countries from 1966 to 2018.
  • E&E News is publishing a multi-part series on “the promise and peril of EV infrastructure.”


Tesla/SolarCity ‘solar roof’ with new Powerwall 2.0 will be in ‘high demand’, says SolarCity CEO


SolarCity’s CEO, Lyndon Rive, said this week that the company should “definitely increase forecasts” for next year because of the upcoming new products that the company will unveil in a joint event with Tesla at the end of the month.

We already reported on how the integration of all three products to be unveiled on October 28, ‘solar roof’, Tesla Powerwall 2.0′, and Tesla charger, will be key to the overall offering of the new combined companies.

Though we learned today that the companies will not be merged by the time they unveil the new products since the proposed merger is only going to a shareholders vote on November 17. It’s likely that Tesla will phase out the ‘SolarCity’ brand after the merger since the company applied for trademarks to sell solar products under its own ‘Tesla’ brand, as we previously reported. Expand

Tesla/SolarCity’s ‘Solar Roof’ is not a solar shingle but ‘very similar’ to Forward’s solar roofing, source says


There’s been a lot of speculations since Elon Musk announced that Tesla and SolarCity will unveil a new ‘Solar Roof’ product. Some think that they will try to bring to market ‘solar shingles’, something several other companies have tried and failed to deliver successfully, while others think it will be a more innovative product.

Last month, we reported on a new product called “Solar Roofing” by Forward Labs. In his article about the concept, Seth suggested that it could give us an idea of what Tesla/SolarCity’s ‘Solar roof’ could be. It was only an educated guess, but as it turns out, a source with knowledge of the product program confirms that his intuition was right.  Expand

Tesla integration of home charging station + energy storage + solar will change everything


Elon Musk has been leaving breadcrumbs about Tesla’s intention to reinvent the entire energy sector from generation of renewable energy with SolarCity to energy storage and consumption with Tesla. It looks like the company’s vision will be unveiled on or around October 28 when Tesla will make its next product announcement:

Musk has one of the best Twitter accounts right now. Even Twitter’s own founder says it. He uses it to answer questions from his fans, correct media perception on his businesses and even to make occasional product announcements. But this Tweet in particular, it might be his most important yet. Expand

Forward Labs shows how a SolarCity/Tesla roof could look better than a traditional roof while generating electricity


We don’t know much about the SolarCity solar panels that are coming out of the South Buffalo plant but Chairman and likely soon CEO of the combined Tesla/Solar City entity Elon Musk told investors last month:

“It’s a solar roof, as opposed to modules on a roof.”

Musk continued: Expand