Could Solar Panels Replace Roads?

Forbes recently published an article about the possibility of solar panels replacing roads someday. If you think about it, it's a good idea, assuming the technology for safe driving on solar panels is sound. With so many roads around the world, the amount of solar energy generated would be endless.

Save the Planet AND Money

The generation of environmental friendly solar power isn't the only benefit of these roads. It may save even more money in the future, as more roads are constructed. Paving new roads is a tremendous expense. Some cost millions of dollars, and then to run those roads with the lights, signs, and cameras, the expenses continue to tally. Tax dollars pay for these expenses, but with solar panel roads, the expenses after installation would be much less than traditional roads. The lights, digital signs, and cameras would all be powered by solar energy.

Saving for a Rainy Day

solar-roadAt this point, you're probably thinking about those rainy or dreary winter days. There isn't much sun to fuel the solar panels on those days. This is something researchers have already considered, and they've implemented a solution. When the sun shines bright, the road will be able to store some of the energy that is generated. The stored energy is what will power the roads on cloudy days.

What about snow? No need for big snow plows to get rid of the snow on the roads. The solar panel roads generate heat and melt the snow away. That's at least what researchers are planning for them.

In Reality

These roads do seem a bit too good to be true, but they are a possibility. Solar panels are cost effective and good for the environment. The motivation is there to make these roads a reality, so researchers will continue to figure out the best ways to construct and install them. While we may not see them all over the world in the near future, it's something future generations may see.

Solar panels are making a difference in the present and are our best hope for the future. While we wait for solar roads, we can do what we can now by going solar at-home and at-work. If you’re interested in going solar and live/work in Los Angeles County, get a free quote today!