Climate Change Combated With Solar Roads [Video]

climate change

It has long been accepted that climate change and global warming are problems that must be resolved, and the sooner the better. One of the the solutions that has been hitting the social media networks recently is the idea of solar roads. The belief that climate change can be combated with something as easily achievable as solar roadways is incredible. The solution has never seemed more simple.

The couple that came up with the idea received a contract in 2009 from the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) and have been creating prototypes ever since. So far their amazing idea has been working. and Julie and Scott Brusaw have decided to go public. They presented their idea at Tedx Talks in 2010, and have been documenting the process on their YouTube channel.

At first glance it may seem that changing how our roadways are constructed is too much hassle with minimal impact on the environment, but it seems as if the Brusaw family is onto something here. People travel the world, always using roads. Many roads are kept in poor condition, full of potholes and cracks. Many roads are in dire need of replacement. Just imagining all of the roadways in the United States alone is mind-boggling. While Scott and Julie have calculated the sheer length of roads in the U.S. to be roughly 72,000 kilometers, it is important to consider the entire world. Climate change is not something that only affects the U.S., it is everywhere. This can be seen by the increasing amount of countries which are concerned with global warming. The best representation of these countries is something called the Kyoto Protocol, which is an international treaty which is focused on combating climate change. The protocol has been signed by 192 parties, including 191 different nations and the European Union. While there is a short list of countries which have not signed the protocol, that does not mean they are not working on finding solutions to global warming. The list of countries which have not signed the Kyoto Protocol include Andorra, Canada, South Sudan and the United States. One hundred and ninety two parties mean a lot kilometers of roads.

If all of these roads were created out of solar panels, it would become increasingly easy to combat climate change. These roads would provide the drivers with light, and would be safer for pedestrians, animals and, of course, drivers. They would create more energy than we could ever imagine. The sun is one of the very few unlimited resources to which we have access. The sun is not expensive, and should be used effectively for the benefit of the people living on this planet.

While solar panels are more expensive to make now, the sooner investments are made into modification of our roads, the cheaper they will become. The drive toward solar powered roads will create new job opportunities and allow for many secondary benefits, including the lack of unsightly power lines, the idea of never shoveling the driveway, and increased safety for anyone who uses the roads. While the complete changeover to solar roads would take many years, it is a worthwhile investment. After all, the goal is for humanity to clean up Earth. When that goal is reached, it will be a moment worth celebrating.

From clean air and protection of habitat, to the inexhaustible resource of the sun, the use of solar roads combating climate change and global warming is within our reach. Watch the video on Solar Freakin’ Roadways below:

Commentry by Ivelina Kunina

Sources:
Guardian Liberty Voice
United Nations
Solar Roadways

14 Responses to "Climate Change Combated With Solar Roads [Video]"

  1. pabelmont   June 1, 2014 at 8:54 am

    I’d imagined solar arrays on roofs OVER roadways, parking lots, large buildings.

    Here you propose putting the directly (or almost directly) on the ground. Terrific.

    BUT — Will heavy trucks, military vehicles (tanks), heavy building machinery (bulldozers) etc. NOT ruin these solar panels?

    Reply
  2. Sue   May 30, 2014 at 10:07 am

    I have been told that the make up of most solar panels require a lot of energy and contain harmful materials plus don’t last a long time for the cost. Does anyone have more information on this?

    Reply
  3. meteorquake   May 27, 2014 at 7:10 am

    I worked out after your post that the UK has 17732 km of railways with a 1.5 m gap between the rails; if this gap were paved with solar panel, on a very sunny day it could generate nearly 4 GW of power, which is almost half the power of all our nuclear power stations combined, so I think some form of your suggestion is quite helpful.

    Reply
    • August   May 27, 2014 at 11:48 am

      What an excellent application of this technology! Being between the rails, they would rarely (if ever) be touched. In most places, you could even opt for glad with little or no enhanced traction, increasing transmissiveness to light and therefore increasing efficiency. Of course, you’d want standard panels at crossings.

      Wow! Great thinking!

      Reply
  4. meteorquake   May 27, 2014 at 7:05 am

    Thanks August. One thing that occurs to me with such things – whether this or a similar – is how to stop people stealing the panels, particularly if society gets tight, as they are over a large area and fairly unmonitorable, but probably worth a bit. d

    Reply
    • August   May 27, 2014 at 11:35 am

      Somewhere (I thought it was in the faq section) I read a possible deterrent to panel theft. The Pamela are all equipped with rf tranceivers to communicate to one another. If a panel is removed, it would likely still be in communication with surrounding panels. Once it’s or of range (or possibly on removal) the adjacent panels would send up a help signal. Additionally, the removed panel might still be capable of communicating with Pamela in the road on which the thief drives while hauling it away, thereby leaving a “trail of breadcrumbs” to follow. Of course, any system can be circumvented / jammed, but it would at least require a bit more resources of the thief!

      Reply
  5. August   May 26, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    Meteorquake – as you are apparently open minded and curious, I encourage you to see the faq section at their website http://www.solarroadways.com . Scott and Julie have thought of and addressed many many concerns. There will certainly be more, but you will see that they ate working quite hard on this endeavor.

    Also their IndieGoGo site for contributions is http://igg.me/at/solarroadways

    As a note, I am in no way affiliated with them. I just happen to be a fan of their work.

    Reply
  6. JC   May 26, 2014 at 6:53 am

    “A 1% reduction in world-wide meat intake has the same benefit as a three trillion-dollar investment in solar energy.” ~ Chris Mentzel, CEO of Clean Energy

    “As environmental science has advanced, it has become apparent that the human appetite for animal flesh is a driving force behind virtually every major category of environmental damage now threatening the human future: deforestation, erosion, fresh water scarcity, air and water pollution, climate change, biodiversity loss, social injustice, the destabilization of communities, and the spread of disease.” Worldwatch Institute, “Is Meat Sustainable?”

    “If every American skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted vegetables and grains… the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off of U.S. roads.” Environmental Defense Fund

    “Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” ~ Albert Einstein

    Step by Step Guide: How to Transition to a Vegan Diet
    http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/step-by-step-guide-how-to-transition-to-vegan-diet/

    Reply
  7. Sam   May 25, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    Solar freakin roadways? Cat-tastic!

    Reply
  8. R James   May 25, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    What a stupid concept – whoever thought of this has no idea of reality. Solar cells are very fragile, and sensitive to shock. They only work on average 20% of the time (6 hours/day, 300 days per year). Of course, this reduces the more cars on the road. They must be kept clean, and reasonably free of dust. Then there’s the transmission of the energy to inverters, and transmission from there. Besides the fact that it’s totally impractical, it would be the most expensive electricity ever conceived.

    Reply
  9. Scott Jantz   May 25, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Another great project on Indiegogo: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/focus-fusion-empowertheworld–3/x/1080026

    Reply
  10. Chemonuclear Fusion Project   May 25, 2014 at 11:16 am

    Dirty roads will mean cuts in power if you put solar panels on the pavement.

    Chemonuclear Fusion is a type of low energy nuclear fusion that has been tested in two experiments.
    Aneutronic nuclear fusion can provide unlimited electric power without polluting the environment with radioactive waste and greenhouse emissions. Chemonuclear processes in small dense white dwarf stars
    accelerate the rate of nuclear fusion and cause them to explode in spectacular supernova explosions.

    The mission of the Chemonuclear Fusion Project is to raise awareness of this new and vitally important source of environmentally clean energy and to promote research and development.

    The Chemonuclear Fusion Project is soliciting volunteers to help our crowdfunding and educational campaigns. Our crowdfunding webpages will soon be up and running. We want people to post to discussion groups and help us get the word out that aneutronic chemonuclear fusion might be the radiation free way to power the world if we can get the funding to build and test reactors.

    Artists can help us design T-shirts, mugs, and promotional items to sell and give away to our contributors. Writers to write promotional materials and post to web forums are also wanted. Video producers and professional and amateur scientists who can help the public understand the concepts of chemonuclear fusion are encouraged to contact us also.

    Visit our facebook page and give us a like. We welcome your comments and questions!

    https://www.facebook.com/chemonuclearfusionproject

    Reply
    • Callum Simpson   May 26, 2014 at 12:51 am

      Nuclear Fusion, a very nice idea. But if solar roadways are impractical then fusion is 100 fold more so. It’s more expensive, uses more energy, and awkwardly has not been able to work yet. We need a solution starting from now, not 50 years down the line. And all solar road’s problems can be overcome (as opposed to being too futuristic) and a trial, probably in a regional city (with plenty of road surface area and less traffic) is entirely justified.

      Reply
  11. meteorquake   May 25, 2014 at 7:50 am

    An interesting idea; I think someone would need to work out the logistics of implementing such an idea – transparent, kept clean, non-slippery, durable etc etc. However, implementing solar panels down the middle of railway tracks would certainly be very interesting.
    It needs to be borne in mind that this will only solve part of the problem – planes cause 10-15% of climate warming pollution here in the UK and presumably US too and we’re envisaging electric planes to reproduce what we have, then there’s ships, fertiliser, running lorries, meat-eating contribution etc – and almost no time to implement the above good idea. It also needs to be remembered that there is a catastrophe of disintegration of community and family life caused by too much travel and too little focus on the local neighbourhood, so the plan shouldn’t be simply to reproduce what we have sustainably, we actually need to stop travelling for little good reason and get to know our neighbours. We’ll all need solid neighbours when we grow old and weak, not ones that are coming and moving out each year or two.
    david

    Reply

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