Move Over Pavement

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Ideas can move mountains, and Solar Roadways just might be one of them. The idea is to replace roads with solar panels, and it is not new. However, recently a small start up has created a convincing case, and its crowd funding campaign has gone viral.

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Aside from the solar technology, road panels have many potential benefits. They will be programmable to perform specific tasks such as lane changes and “animal ahead” warnings. Snow will no longer be a problem as the panels will have the ability to heat the roads. Safety during night time driving might be vastly improved, all while burning of fossil fuels can eventually be eliminated. Ah, a perfect world. Not to mention the futuristic tone that will be set by illuminated multicolored roads.

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Problems with the Solar Roadways proposal? Oh yeah. Although a working prototype exists, many details need ironing out. Who will maintain the panels? How will the repair crew be trained properly? What happens when one panel gets damaged? Do cloudy days eliminate our use of the road? Why not just install solar panels in the desert? As of now, there are more questions than answers. Plus, most solar panels only convert about 14% of available energy. Just the same, Solar Roadways would be a step in the direction of less reliance on nonrenewable energy, and that’s a win for everyone.

A brilliant idea with a tough road to accomplishment. When the time comes, will you be ready to redo your driveway?

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