As if shaking up the auto industry wasn't enough, Tesla's unveiling of a solar panel which can directly replace standard roofing materials promises to completely change the house building industry whilst completely re-working the way that we generate and consume electricity.
The Powerwall battery is a product that we've been shown before and the concept is good: store electricity generated from the sun locally in order to consume it when the sun isn't shining.
What has been missing has been a solution for micro generation of solar power that scales to the large number of homes which could benefit from doing this. PV panels have traditionally been large and clumsy to install.
Enter Tesla's new solar roof tile. As you can see it's all but indistinguishable from a standard roofing material but manages to embed a solar cell for generation.
Now at the moment performance and cost are unknown. Assuming they are at least as good as current solutions (and based on Tesla's past performance that's the minimum I'd expect) this looks a game changer for home owners in climates appropriate for power generation.
Of more interest is how governments react to the technology - in particular for new home builds, where making solar generation and a battery storage facility mandatory could greatly reduce the load on existing infrastructure and, just as importantly, reduce the demand on 'dirty' generation techniques.
For Tesla shareholder the acquisition of Solar City makes much more sense now.