California Energy Commission Awards Grant to Konarka

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Privately held Konarka Technologies, Inc., announced the California Energy Commission is earmarking funds from its Energy Innovations Small Grant Program for Konarka. The grant will be used to accelerate Konarka’s efforts to bring aesthetically integrated plastic photovoltaics to the roofing market. Over the next 12 months, Konarka will apply this grant to examining the potential for coating patterned power plastic roofing materials that mimic the appearance of traditional roofing products. Aesthetics and cost have been key hurdles in increasing market penetration for renewable photovoltaic power in the residential roofing market, but Konarka’s materials will look like a conventional roof. They will include embedded renewable energy generation functionality, rather than require consumers to purchase and install separate aftermarket solar panels as is typically done now. These Konarka-enhanced roofing materials will cost less, blend with the aesthetics of the building and help consumers avoid violating their roofs’ warranties when going green. [ more ]