Although this is only an IndieGoGo promotional video, we can see the start of an amazing new technology getting ready to knock on our doors in the United States. Having already been used on a bike path in Norway called the SolaRoad, innovating these weight- bearing panels onto highways across the U.S. doesn’t seem like such a stretch.
Solar roadways ARE the future for the United States. We just need people who believe in them to start implementing them. There really are no downsides in my eyes, from heated roads to melt snow and ice, to LED lights instead of painted on lines, we can see that these roads would be safer and more efficient than the asphalt we use now, which leeches chemicals into the soil. The perceived downside is the cost, but if we reallocated the roughly $91 BILLION dollars a year spent on asphalt road each year to solar roads, we could have streets replaced with solar roads within the next 100 years.
Other benefits of solar roads:
- They could potentially charge solar powered vehicles
- The textured surface allows for safe abrupt stopping in case of an emergency
- Pressure sensors alert you to debris or animal life on the road ahead
- The LED lights can be reconfigured at any time to change lines or even create playgrounds
- Heating elements keep snow and ice to a minimum
- Each section is individual so if one breaks, the whole road doesn’t have to be replaced
- The solar power created can then be sold to electric companies to power homes and businesses
The more I learn about solar roads the more I love them and their unique innovation that could literally change the face of the United States. I hope to someday be able to experience these roads in my day to day life.
Written by Ali Brehm, ESLLC 2015-2016