Check out a recent story I wrote for Technology Review on a new plug 'n' play solar shingle from Dow Chemical. Dow plans to release a small test batch of the solar embedded shingles later this year and while they haven't yet announced who will get them, I think they'd compliment my solar hot water system quite nicely.
My guess is this and other attempts to merge solar panels with conventional building materials will initially cost a premium and the technology will likely encounter some hiccups along the way. But, eventually, I think solar embedded shingles will become a standard part of new roofs. Like one industry analyst told me, "two hundred years ago they didn't build buildings with electrical systems in the walls and wiring buildings was a really expensive retrofit. Today, its standard practice."
Image Credit: The Dow Chemical Company