The concept of “solar roadways” is recent in the last few years. While only in the prototype stage in the US and Germany, the first solar roadway was installed in France at the end of 2016. If we maximize our already existing streets worldwide, we may no longer need to use natural fields to build large scale solar farms!
The panels are installed on existing pavement, and if this is applied to ALL roadways and walkways across the US, we could generate more than three times the amount of electricity the entire country uses. If it comes to fruition, the overproduction could benefit business owners and homeowners alike. Solar Roadways, a research and development firm based in Idaho, has received more than $1.5 million from the Department of Transportation over the last six years to support the process.
First providing electricity to lighting along the roadway and powering homes and buildings in its surrounding area, the panels could even eventually charge electric vehicles as they’re driving. It’s predicted that about 600 miles of solar roadway could supply power to five million people. They even contain heating elements, which can melt ice and snow during iffy weather conditions. Very cool!