Elon Musk Roof Announcement Stuns Clean Energy Analysts

SolarCity Corp
Photo: Ethan Miller / Staff / Getty Images

SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) got a ray of good news as Elon Musk announced that he was confident that his company could produce roof solar panels at a lower cost to buyers than a regular roof. That’s even before the savings on energy bills after the panels are installed.

This is big news for SolarCity and Musk roofs. If the company can back this up, then, theoretically, there’s no reason not to own a Musk roof fitted with solar panels. (Source: “Tesla’s solar roof to cost less than a regular roof – even before energy production, says Elon Musk,” Electrek, November 17, 2016.)

Here are Musk’s exact words:

It’s looking quite promising that a solar roof actually cost less than 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, last twice as long, cost less and by the way generates electricity’ why would you get anything else.

Musk claims that the roofing supply chain was “incredibly inefficient” and that the supply chain had largely been unexamined for a long while. SolarCity hopes that Musk roofs can take advantage of those inefficiencies by creating a much more streamlined supply-chain. He also mentioned that it would be cheaper before even accounting for subsidies.

Musk said that the solar roof tiles would also weigh considerably less, going as low as a fifth of the weight of concrete or ceramic roofing options.

This is welcom news at SolarCity and for the innovative tech billionaire. SCTY stock has had an up-and-down month, as both the announcement of the merger with Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) and the victory of green-energy skeptic Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential election have hurt SolarCity stock prices. But SCTY stock has since rebounded to about two percent, down from a month ago.

There are also opponents to the Tesla-SolarCity merger that may try and halt it in court. Tesla announced that at least four lawsuits had been filed in the early part of the month in Delaware in opposition to the merger, alleging a break of fiduciary duty. (Source: “Next for Tesla and SolarCity: The lawsuits,” MarketWatch, November 19, 2016.)

In any event, the Musk roof announcement has been a ray of sunshine for clean tech companies. We’ll have to wait and see if next-year sales will boost accordingly.