Solar technology is lookin' good…

Many people think solar panels are ugly and that they are an eyesore on the roof of otherwise attractive homes. Some more rigid housing communities have gone so far as to ban them because of this bias. But most of us are familiar with the story about the ugly duckling. 

Watch out because solar technology is growing up and changing its look!  

In the industry there is a technology called BiPV – building integrated photovoltaics.  BiPV offers a solution to having both the benefit of solar energy generated on your rooftop and the sleek roof of your dreams: solar shingles.

BiPV residential roof Yes, that’s right, solar technology is now being integrated right into roofing tiles – and they have them in different colors and styles to suite any taste.  SUNSLATES, GE, Sharp, Kyocera, and Powerlight are among companies who offer these products for your home.  BiPV is also available for flat roofs, walls, and glass installations. 

So, if the aesthetics of solar technology has turned you away from an investment in your future and the future of our global environment, let its new face turn you on!

Dr. Jennifer Veilleux is a geographer, writer, and artist. For more than a decade, she has worked on scientific research and security issues facing water resources shared across political boundaries. Research and curiosity has taken her to more than 50 countries on 5 continents, often to remote locations and marginalized communities. Veilleux takes portraits of people she encounters in her field work and recently released a collection, Portraits from Rivers of Change, that can be viewed here: www.jenniferveilleux.com. These portraits highlight two separate communities, one on the Mekong River the other on the Blue Nile River, facing relocation due to dam development. Dr. Veilleux works for Florida International University as a post doctoral associate for the Institute of Water and Environment and manages SELVA, the Serengeti-Lake Victoria Sustainable Water Initiative, a research project on water security of the Mara River in the Upper Nile basin of Tanzania. She maintains a blog, The Way of Water, dedicated to news and commentary about development on the Nile and Mekong, general water resources issues, and special topics related to women in science. She lives in Miami with her cat Mr. FC Sweet Tea.