Not Dow's PV shingles, but you get the idea!
Dow chemical has announced that, starting in 2010, they will begin to market POWERHOUSE solar shingles with photovoltaics built right in.
The shingles will function just like any roofing shingle, to keep out the elements and provide a home with an attractive roof. But they have the added benefit -- of course -- of generating electricity from a thin layer of PV material that is incorporated directly into the shingle.
To my mind, the more these types of products are created -- products that have solar energy technology built right in, rather than as an add-on technology -- the faster we'll see solar power become a mainstream technology for generating electricity that can be used on-site and also fed back into the power grid for more general consumption.
While solar shingles have been around for a while, Dow's announcement puts them into the mainstream of the housing technology market, and opens up a lot of possibilities.