Are Solar Roadways the Future
Jun 05, 2014
The people of planet Earth are always looking for ways to perpetuate green living and cut down greenhouse gases. We have seen a movement towards electric cars, alternative energy sources and a rise in recycling awareness. Now a new company is continuing the push for alternative energy sources and thinking outside the box when it comes to electricity.
The name of the company says it all. Solar roadways, a small startup is trying to raise funds to have our roads changed so they are covered in textured glass embedded with solar cells. These solar cells could help generate electricity simply by soaking up the sun’s rays every day. On top of that, the solar roadway could help melt snow and show safety warnings through integrated LEDs.
The company claims that their prototype can withstand 250,000 pounds of weight and has demoed farm tractors driving over solar roadway surfaces with no problem. The company’s success isn’t without detractors however. Experts point to the fact that the country can barely keep the current infrastructure funded and solar panels aren’t economically feasible, especially for a solution that still needs major testing.
Still the company has raised almost two million dollars using crowd funding to push forward with these tests. The department of Transportation has also given grants totally 850,000 to the business to help them prove their concept. The plan is to start small with parking lots, driveways and sidewalks before branching out to main roads and major highways.
Skeptics believe the project will fail and point to the lack of solar panels on rooftops. Solar panels on residential and commercial roofs is an alternative that has been around for years, is much easier and cheaper to install and yet has struggled to take off as a major energy alternative. The company will move forward anyway trying to make their concept a reality. What do you think? Do you think solar roadways are the future?