May 2011

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Building-integrated PV shingles can change the solar landscape

by Wendy Ventura
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After decades of solar innovations, remarkable technological progress and growing global encouragement for a "greener" planet, residential photovoltaic (PV) systems are gaining broader acceptance. With new options available on the market and others on the way, homeowners have more choices and can receive answers to questions regarding aesthetics, longevity, savings, energy production and affordability.

The solar industry makes progress each year regarding solar cell efficiency and lowering manufacturing expenses, which in a free-market system will drive down end-user costs. This progress is aided further when government entities and utility companies offer meaningful incentives or tax breaks for pioneering homeowners and early adopters of solar technology.

As for concerns regarding whether PV systems can look good while also being highly functional, few in the industry have been able to surmount that critical barrier to offer what homeowners consider truly aesthetically pleasing building-integrated PV (BIPV) shingles.

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