Tesla’s Solar Panels


Yoav Kovar, Brian McQuillen, and Segev Sharon


In general, greenhouse gas emissions consist of carbon dioxide among smaller amounts of various other substances. The emissions of these gases have gone up exponentially over the past twenty years, with a main contributor being the powering of homes. Cresskill High School students were asked how their homes were powered; a majority answered that their homes are powered through electricity. The electricity must be generated somewhere, causing large amounts of greenhouse gases to be released into the atmosphere. According to the EPA, “The largest source of greenhouse gas emissions from human activities in the United States is from burning fossil fuels for electricity, heat, and transportation.” Additionally, the EPA states that the fossil fuel burning required to produce electricity contributes to 28 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions. Tesla recently attempted to address this growing concern, and has developed a system of solar panels that can be installed on the roof of homes. Tesla solar panels allow people to reduce the amount of harmful substances being emitted into the atmosphere while offering a cost effective alternative to conventional methods of powering homes, considerably lowering the greenhouse gas emission levels, and combating global warming and other environmental issues on an individual scale. 

In August of 2016, Tesla acquired the company SolarCity, the largest residential solar installer in the United States at the time. In October of that year, Tesla announced that they were releasing their own solar panels, with orders being taken the next May. In August of 2017, installation of Tesla’s solar panels began in residential buildings and houses around the country. 

The panels were designed as cheap methods of powering homes with the intent to increase the number of residential homes powered by solar panels in the near future. This seems to be the trend, as many homeowners have switched to solar panels. 6% of all homeowners in the United States have already switched to solar panels, and the number is constantly rising. Cresskill High School students were asked if they were interested in investing in clean energy in the future: 66% said that they are likely to do so. The youth willing to change the status quo in order to save the Earth is a great sign for society. If these changes are not made, the ozone layer will be damaged beyond repair  and large ecosystems will die. Unfortunately for Elon Musk and Tesla, Cresskill students are not likely to purchase their products; only 19% stated that they are willing to purchase Tesla products in the future. Hopefully Musk and his marketing team can buck this trend, and convince future generations to purchase Tesla panels, as they are a key contributor to reducing emissions.