Unless you’ve been off the grid lately, you may have heard of the Solar Roadways Indiegogo Campaign, promoted and spread around the viral web-and-word-of-mouth-o-sphere thanks to their video "Solar Freakin’ Roadways!" which are applicable to parking lots, driveways, sidewalks, bike paths, playgrounds, and as they so appropriately suggest: “any surface under the sun.”
More from their campaign site:
They pay for themselves primarily through the generation of electricity, which can power homes and businesses connected via driveways and parking lots. A nationwide system could produce more clean renewable energy than a country uses as a whole.
They have many other features as well, including: heating elements to stay snow/ice free, LEDs to make road lines and signage, and attached Cable Corridor to store and treat stormwater and provide a “home” for power and data cables. EVs will be able to charge with energy from the sun (instead of fossil fuels) from parking lots and driveways and after a roadway system is in place, mutual induction technology will allow for charging while driving.
This idea is a common sense evolutionary progression from the asphalt/bitumen-laden surfaces we’ve become
addicted accustomed to, which take away from us more than they provide - considering we are orbiting around a consistent nuclear power source - and the implementation of a concept such as this would most certainly be revolutionary in terms of our society’s reluctancy to embrace well, reality.
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The Solar Roadways Indiegogo Campaign has already achieved $1.7M in funding, surpassed their $1M goal…and (as of this post) there’s STILL 20 DAYS LEFT.
Although there’s still time to donate funds and/or spread the word, you should know - if you don’t already, depending on how close you’re following this - there are already clouds of *shocker* opposition and cynicism *gasp* hovering over the building excitement and worldwide promotion of this concept:
Extremetech.com said the concept is “verging on utopian.”
“On paper, it really does sound like one of the greatest inventions ever. In reality, though, where, you know, real-world factors come into play, it will probably never make the jump from drawing board to large-scale deployment.”
The site points out that asphalt costs between US$3 and $15 per square foot, whereas the cost per solar panel could amount to about $70 per square foot based on 2010 calculations by the company.
One estimate pegs the total cost to repave every road in the U.S. with panels at $56 trillion, or about four times the country’s national debt. That’s according to Aaron Saenz, writing for the site Singularity hub.
But the cost argument isn’t going to stop people like Forrest from spreading the message in your newsfeed. To her, the science makes sense and the roadways are “win-win” because they can eventually pay for themselves.
Source: “Solar Roadways Spark Public’s Imagination, But Cost Could Be Barrier”; HuffPost Business | Canada
Regardless of any naysayers - considering they’re obviously not the ones who have spent a decade developing this - no amount of doom-&-gloom can overshadow the facts, and the pressing urgency of a failing, wasteful infrastructure long due for an overhaul.
There’s much more to know about this concept, so watch the video, tell
your friends and family everyone, and support the campaign for Solar Freakin’ Roadways!
NOTE: Keep in mind that the technology (hardware - software) applications which represent the nuts and bolts of this concept are not final. This is a concept that has come only so far. With the right funding, universities, government backing, and/or private R&D teams to support this, this entire concept most certainly could be feasible, as we are in the midst of one of the most prominent exponential growth curves in the history of civilization. Everything involving STEM, from macro to micro scale is in a successive transition, whereby new materials are becoming introduced or coming online quicker than anyone (but Asimov) could’ve predicted. We need a society of innovators, offering up viable solutions, and positive alternatives, not looking at something and judging it on face value alone. Let’s remember this as we see this concept through. Stay curious.