Renewable energy is definitely going to be one of the biggest markets in the near future and Solar Roadways, a startup from Idaho in the United States, wants to make all roadways have solar panels that can pick up light and turn that into energy.
The project, that has been backed by 44,000 people on IndieGogo for $1,900,000 in funding with a few weeks to go, wants to change the way roads work. Instead of having tarmac, why not have solar roadways that can pick up sunlight and store the energy.
This would not only cut greenhouse gases by 75 percent, but could remove annoyances like snow off the roads and offer more energy to the local stations, making it an excellent source of revenue for areas that want to become energy cities.
The project is still in its early testing phase, but unlike a lot of crowdfunded ideas the couple behind it have already worked on prototypes and understand how it can be achieved. The IndieGogo campaign will go to further funding the project and potentially pushing it into a city.
Solar Roadways does have a lot of benefits, but for governments and councils to accept the new roadways they would need to go through a lot of testing and the end expense will not be cheap. This means not only does Solar Roadways have to show its safer than normal roads, they have to show the benefits and potential income.
Another cool thing the solar roadways can do is show LED traffic signs and different walkways like Zebra Crossings. This is all done through the small LED lights inside each solar panel and this can be programmed to show a ton of different things, potentially showing roadblocks, accidents and other information.
This is an exciting and really large project that could turn into a worldwide trend. Even though Solar Roadways are currently a small startup working in Idaho, someday they might be a multinational company fitting roadways across the globe and offering other renewable energy services.