Earlier this week, billionaire businessman Elon Musk made the world understand a very simple concept:: solar panels don’t have to be ugly. This should be seen as great news for Malta, which has sunshine to spare and no shortage of solar-panel-spoiled roofs that could really use the makeover.
One tiny complication is that Tesla’s vision seems tailored for tiled, slanting roofs which are uncommon in Malta. But, that shouldn’t stop us from trying to adapt. Here are three ways we can benefit anyway once the Solar Roof and Powerwall become commercially available next summer.
1. Tesla Balconies
Why don’t we adapt the usual materials used in balconies and terraces across Malta, and have them covered by the new solar tiles? Just imagine how powerful Tesla Balconies combined with 300 days of sunshine could be. One balcony alone could be enough to power the whole space, or even better – charge the batteries on your new electric car. This would be a particularly great solution for Valletta.
2. PowerWalls everywhere
Elon Musk’s launch also involved the second iteration of the Tesla Powerwall. The challenge with storing and making use of solar energy with just roof panels is that energy peaks is, most of the times, not equivalent to your demand. Solar Water Heaters anyone?
But what if we could potentially connect this PowerWall to our existing Solar Panels and improve the possibilities of our homes not having to depend on the electrical grid. Self-sustaining homes.
Isn’t that the dream? Any why not sell some power to your neighbour? The PowerWall can store twice the energy storage capacity it had in the first iteration. So in reality, it’s a bit of a no-brainer that the return on investment in the long-run would be well worth the initial cost.
3. Giving up on flat roofs
Then power (and aesthetics) behind the tiled solar roofs could see a shift in our current obsession with flat roofs. Sure, we couldn’t have the whole space slanted (inkella fejn ħa tonxor il-ħwejjeġ?) but if we did switch up some parts, not only could we generate electricity more effectively but also collect rainwater and perhaps redirect them to a special filtration system (probably built by Tesla too).
And Google… we have not forgotten you, bring that blessed ‘Project Sunroof’ to Malta. Maltese homes need it!