The Path to Green: Solar Roadways

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via spiegel.de

via spiegel.de

Over a decade after Al Gore shook the world with his inconvenient truth about climate change, it seems the naysayers are finally being drowned out by those who want to keep this earth alive.

Julie and Scott Brusaw are two of those looking to keep this planet healthy and well. The Brusaws have been earning a lot of attention for their brainchild, solar roadways. Don’t know what solar roadways are? Prepare to have your mind blown: solar Roadways are roads made out of solar panels.

Let’s go over the main points of awesomeness here, because I could write a whole book on these things:

1. These roads of the future are made out of hyper-tempered glass material that can withstand any load, friction, weather, destruction — you name it. If, for some reason, a panel is damaged, you replace it with another one. Because the panels are made out of as much recycled material as possible, there is no need to worry about resource depletion or stress.

2. The panels are heated, meaning they automatically melt snow and ice by maintaining a base temperature above freezing, eliminating the need for snow plows and salt trucks. Furthermore, they’re pressure-sensitive, and will alert users to an extraordinary amount of pressure, unusual movement, or a possible source of danger such as a fallen tree or crossing animal. These roads could literally save your life.

3. The roads would save American taxpayers a lot of money in public works funding. Road maintenance costs in the U.S are exorbitant, primarily because our road maintenance plan is one of temporary band-aids and quick fixes with no longterm solution to a very large problem.

4. These roadways could generate three times the amount of energy produced by the U.S. in one year, while simultaneously cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 75%. Just yesterday, June 2, the EPA proposed a fifteen-year plan to reduce power plant carbon emissions by 30% by the year 2030. While that is a move in the right direction, it’s a baby step compared to the progress solar roadways could bring.

5. Solar roadways offer two channels: one for power cables and one for water. The power channel is underground and protected from extreme weather. The water channel operates as a runoff filtration system, treating rainwater and melted snow either on-sight or after channeling the water to a treatment facility.

via youtube.com

via youtube.com

6. Each panel is outfitted with LED lights, which can be controlled to create lanes, parking spots or illuminated roadways. The lights allow the roads to be a blank canvas, and their lane-scaping can be changed to suit the needs of the drivers. Car accidents could be reduced, lives could be saved, and you won’t have to feel guilty about hitting that deer on a late-night drive.

7. JOBS, JOBS, JOBS! These solar roadways would generate thousands of jobs, from road installation to light operation. We need workers to manage the channels, the light system, panel construction, not to mention all those jobs needed at the solar energy plants accumulating the energy generated by the roadways.

You know you want the streets to light up like a disco dance floor, so go over to the Solar Roadways’ Indiegogo site and become a part of the solar roadways movement today.

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Anna Turner

Anna is a freelance writer/producer based out of San Francisco. Her writing covers several genres, but her passion lies in humor, entertainment, education and culture.
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