Building-integrated solar has been on the cusp of adoption for over a decade. Boosters envision every roof being built with solar glass, houses studded with solar-producing windows and skyscrapers wrapped in material that turns sunlight into electricity.
The road to commercialization, however, is already littered with failed companies.
Now that solar is relatively cheap, a slate of new companies is trying to will the building-integrated photovoltaic sector to rise again. There are still numerous barriers, however, such as bridging the gulf between the building and solar industries and improving aesthetics enough to encourage BIPV’s mainstream success.
Over the next decade, the companies taking a gamble will be challenged to prove that BIPV is a legitimate technology, rather than a futuristic novelty.