In New York City’s Times Square, Musk and Solar City introduce what they claim is the world’s most efficient rooftop solar panel, achieving a peak efficiency of 22.04%, 30-40% more power than current panels. The rating is verified by the Renewable Energy Test Center. The panels are cheap enough that the company can make money off of them even if government tax break policies expire. CTO Rive:
That’s been the singular focus of the company… to continue to get the costs down. I’m really excited about this… it’s the best solar panel on the planet and it empowers us from 2017 and beyond to control our own destiny.
Musk says that third-party panel manufacturers were happy to make a standard efficiency 15% panel year-over-year.
So we thought we had to make our own panels. I like counter-intuitive moves. I thought people would think, at the time, ‘Wow, that’s stupid,’ [which made me think], ‘That’s probably a good idea.’