It may not be that far off. As the effectiveness of solar technology is accelerating, one of the latest endeavors is to produce photovoltaic paint that can be put on any structure to generate electricity.
Here’s how it works: The paint is applied in several layers, including a dye-reactive solar layer covered with a coating of electrolyte or titanium dioxide. When light hits the dye-reactive solar cells, molecules are released into the other layer, which collects them and acts as a circuit. The electrons are then attracted back into the dye, creating electricity.
Theoretically, any building or home could be painted with the PV paint, turning it into a solar power station. It’s already being tested and is commercially available. It may be only a few years away from being viable for a range of building uses.