When Elon Musk unveiled the Tesla Solar Roof in 2016, it was the first that many people had heard of solar shingles. But the idea of a roofing product that can both generate energy and blend in with regular asphalt shingles has been around for decades.
Companies from Dow Chemical Company to the now defunct BP Solar have given the solar shingle a shot, but many of these products are no longer on the market. Solar shingles have been expensive to manufacture and install, and are not yet as efficient as regular solar panels. That’s kept them from breaking into the mainstream.