When it comes to ideas that feel good but fail when stupid old reality sets in, having solar panels on a road has to rank at the top if only for the enormous amount of public support. In Amsterdam, a company called SolaRoad (smart name, right?) doubled down and installed a solar bike path and ran it for six months.…
How can we turn thousands of miles of ugly asphalt roads into energy-producing powerhouses? By paving them in solar panels. One engineer's idea of solar Utopia could be a lot more feasible than you'd think.
Roads do two things well: Carry cars, and soak up sun. What if, instead of just getting really hot, roads could generate electricity with that sunlight? That's exactly what Solar Roadways—and now, the Department of Energy—has in mind.