What’s The Big Idea? – Solar Roadways

“For an idea that does not first seem insane, there is no hope.” – Albert Einstein

I picture an imaginary ledge where a person peers over into the misty depths below wondering what is so great down there. I then picture someone else running full steam and leaping into that unknown. One is crazy for jumping and the other is insane for standing still. Our world spins in balance because of both of these people. There is a new discovery everyday that threatens to turn this planet on it’s ear and these discoveries need more champions. They need further invention, additional input, more discovery and a ton of polish. Sometimes that follow through comes from another jumper, but often what appears on the outside to be standing still is really moving at the speed of innovation. Together, anything is possible.

Harnessing the amazing power of the sun isn’t exactly a new idea, but since there seems to be an endless amount of information on solar energy I think people will continue to explore ways to capture and utilize a seemingly free resource. I recently came across one concept that is both fairly simple and highly complex. Scott and Julie Brusaw came up with the idea of Solar Roadways, which is exactly what you’re thinking: a road comprised of solar panels. Included in these panels are LED lights to replace road striping and a heating element to melt snow. There are many more listed capabilities, such as recharging electric vehicles and the ability to relay warning messages on the surface. You can read more at the Solar Roadways website.

There’s a lot of talk about futuristic cars and where they will take us. Any conversation about lessening the impact of an automobile on the environment should also include how they will get us there. A solar road just seems like a perfect fit for the futuristic vision of transportation. I’m not going to debate lab results versus real world feasibility, and the overall cost is staggering, but I am rooting for this project to work. In my opinion, the benefits far outweigh the consequences of failure. Any hiccups will undoubtedly be smoothed along the way by the speed of technology, which will only increase with more product usage. If we can smarten up a phone, why can’t we educate our roadways?

In short: I think Solar Roadways has all the hope and insanity of a great idea.

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