Solar Roadways certainly looks like a cool idea, with so many benefits, but getting such a venture off the ground, or on the ground, depending on how you look at it, could have been a difficult sell.
The idea behind Solar Roadways was originally cooked up by an Idaho engineer couple, Scott and Julie Brusaw, a modular solar panel with the impact and traction characteristics of asphalt, but the ability to generate electricity via solar power. Turning the nation’s highways into Solar Roadways is such an innovative and versatile invention that its benefits are hard to calculate. Imagine better winter traction, because it eliminates snow, or better night driving, because they’re self-illuminated and can be programmed to display up-to-the-moment driving cues.
Solar Roadways could also be huge for the clean energy industry, creating thousands of jobs. Even better, however, is the amount of solar power than could theoretically be generated. According to the research, if every highway in the US was converted to this new system, the roadways themselves could generate three times more energy than the nation currently uses. This doesn’t count additional solar power that could be generated by Solar Roadway technology installed in millions of acres of private parking lots, driveways, and sidewalks.
Crowdfunding for the Solar Roadways technology invention wasn’t a difficult sell at all. Even the Federal Highway Administration has shown interest in the technology. The Indiegogo campaign is not over yet, but over 43,500 donors have already helped to blow away the one-million-dollar goal. The campaign ends on June 20, 2014, and the campaign has already raised over $1.9 million. The funds will go toward production of a number of the Solar Roadways modular units, some of which will be used in a prototype Solar Roadway parking lot.
Image © Solar Roadways