Saturday, August 29, 2009

Crazy idea? Could we replace the nation’s pavement with solar panels?

Saw this story on Google Reader today

Could we replace the nation’s pavement with solar panels?
If all paved surfaces in the U.S. were replaced with 15% efficiency solar panels, the resulting distributed power network could provide three times the electricity the nation consumes, with zero carbon emissions and no additional power grid infrastructure. (Yes, I’m aware manufacturing, installing, and maintaining it would generate emissions, as with any infrastructure project.)

So crazy it just might work? Apparently the Dept. of Transportation thinks so: Solar Roadways has received a $100,000 contract from DOT to build a prototype:

The Solar Roadways will collect solar energy to power businesses and homes via structurally-engineered solar panels that are driven upon, to be placed in parking lots and roadways in lieu of petroleum-based asphalt surfaces.

Wow, that sounds a little overambitious if you ask me but who knows,maybe it is possible. Next thing would be to have a moon/sun roof on every car that will also convert the energy from the sun into fuel.

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