Rip Out A Forest and Put In Asphalt – Or Not

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By Rowan Wolf, Editor In Chief

Something potentially exciting is happening in the energy development world – solar roadways. I encourage you to watch the video and then continue reading.

Solar Freakin Roadways

The idea looks more than interesting, and I can certainly think of possibilities beyond what are detailed in the video. Solar rooves (or roofs if you prefer) would be an excellent idea. They could provide energy and remove snow load in the winter.

One question I have, is “how much electricity do they generate?”. I assume that it is more than would light up the LEDs, and more than enough to keep ice off in cold weather. If the energy collection is good to excellent, it could truly replace the plans for massive solar “farms.”

The video (above) is getting a lot of play, and they are generating a decent amount of crowd funding (an estimated $2 million). They even got a write up in the New Economist (mixed review).

I do not get very excited about too many of the “alternative” energy plans, because somehow folks (particularly in the US) have to come to grips with the problem of over consumption of energy. The reality is that we need to drastically reduce consumption and pollution starting more than a decade ago, and not a damn thing significant is happening. If you look at what we need to do (as a society and a world) is to reduce our emissions to pre-industrial revolution levels. As it stands, we have so over-shot the danger level that regardless what we “save” now, we have a deteriorating scenario. That will take hundreds (if not thousands) of years to right itself – and that is without us adding any more burden.

However, the solar roadway idea has a lot of pluses and side benefits on its side – including jobs.

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