Elon Musk: Tesla Solar Roof Will Likely Cost Less Than a Normal Roof
Comment of the Day

November 21 2016

Commentary by David Fuller

Elon Musk: Tesla Solar Roof Will Likely Cost Less Than a Normal Roof

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the solar roof that will be sold under a combined Tesla-SolarCity will likely cost less than a normal roof to install.

Tesla and SolarCity shareholders voted in favor of the merger, a deal worth $2 billion, Thursday. In late October, Musk unveiled a new solar roof product to show his vision for a combined company with SolarCity, but did not provide specifics on how much it would cost.

On Thursday after the shareholder vote, Musk said its solar roof will likely cost less than a normal roof:

“It’s looking quite promising that a solar roof will actually cost less than a normal roof before you even take the value of electricity into account. So the basic proposition would be, ‘Would you like a roof that looks better than a normal roof, lasts twice as long, costs less and by the way generates electricity?’ It’s like, why would you get anything else?”

Musk added the price he is speaking to factors in the cost of labor.

During a Nov. 1 conference call, SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive said that the companies are aiming for 40 cents a Watt, which would put it in line with the competition.

Musk unveiled four solar shingle options for a solar roof at the Oct. 28 event. The solar roof will incorporate glass developed by Tesla’s new glass division.

Tesla will produce the solar cells for the roof with Panasonic at a manufacturing facility in Buffalo, New York.

David Fuller's view

Yes, solar power does not produce electricity after sunset or when you are beneath heavy clouds, but it is the most flexible and increasingly power.  Mrs Fuller and I have solar panels on our house in Devon and if the roof ever needs to be replaced, I would probably not hesitate to do so with solar roof shingles. 

It looks as if OPEC is finally seeing the light regarding crude oil’s waning influence as the world’s most important source of energy. Production cuts are necessary, in line with every other commodity in every multiyear medium-term cycle, to generate the best return for producers. 

It is simple: crude oil can trade above $50 if producers cut production.  However, if they choose not to reduce oil production, prices will trade below $50.  Production freezes by OPEC countries and Russia near current levels are unlikely to keep Brent prices above $50 for long, without either a loss of marginal production due to accident, sabotage or war.  Increased global GDP growth, which I think we will see over the next few years, may not be enough to keep crude oil above $50 on its own, because shale oil production will increase, while both new nuclear and renewable sources of energy will become more competitive. 

(See also: Oil Climbs to Three-Week High as Iran, Iraq Signal OPEC Accord, and Goldman Says Scope for OPEC Deal Makes Oil Short-Term Buy.

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