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You guessed it. They’re roadways made out of solar panels. That’s right, the whole concept replaces asphalt and concrete surfaces with solar panels – and you can drive on them! Skeptical? I was too. But, check out some of the benefits. It’s hard to argue with them!
They’re heated. This might be the most attractive asset for Canadians. Imagine having heated roadways! That would mean no ice, no traffic delays, fewer accidents, no shoveling driveways and sidewalks, no salt corroding our cars and roads and no tax money spent on snow removal! This would also mean you could bike or motorcycle all year long – which boasts incredible environmental benefits. We’ll talk more about those benefits later.
They have lights. Each panel is wired with LED lights. This means our roads would be safer because we’d have more visibility during the nighttime. This would also mean we could program our roads, driveways and parking lots with whichever configuration we want! No more painting or fixing up the roads – we just simply change the program to whatever is suitable. Are you convinced yet? There’s more.
They’re pressure sensitive. They can detect when large debris falls on the road or when an animal is crossing! The panels are also capable of lighting up the road to let drivers know of an obstruction. It’s hard to argue with the safety benefits here!
There’s no doubt that these are some awesome perks, but what about their environmental benefits?
They use recycled materials. Solar roadways are produced using as much recycled materials as possible.
They house electrical cables. This means that power lines, data lines, fiber optics and high-speed Internet cables are all housed inside the roadways. This eliminates the need for telephone poles and hanging wires, which can be dangerous during storms and cause power outages.
They reduce pollution. They capture and filter storm water and melted snow and either send them to a treatment facility or treat them on site. This greatly reduces the amount of pollution entering our soil, lakes, rivers and oceans.
They generate energy. Perhaps the biggest perk of all! They create energy. Free energy! It’s estimated that if all the roads in the US converted to solar roadways, the country would generate three times as much energy as it currently uses. Sit with that idea for a moment. Imagine the possibilities!
Now, I want to hear from you! What do you see as some of the possible pros and cons of this project? Tweet me.