Monday, November 10, 2014

Solar freakin' roadways!

What if . . . ?

Yeah, what if we built solar freakin' roadways?

What if our roads produced power? What if they never needed to be plowed or salted in the winter?

What if they were simple to repair, one panel at a time?

What if?

Yeah, what if we built solar freakin' roadways? The technology is here. Now. Maybe.

What if we produced enough power from our roads that we never had to build another coal-fired power plant? What if we produced all kinds of clean energy . . . from . . . our . . . roads?

What if our roads and parking lots eventually -- perhaps -- paid for themselves?

WHY CAN'T some city start experimenting with solar roadways? Why can't we find out, even if the developers' claims are complete pie in the sky, what the real power output is and what the real, practical benefits are in real-world conditions? Let's get some real data.

Why can't, for instance, Omaha experiment with them? We're doing major streetscaping and urban renovation in several older parts of the city. We're building major new developments around the city. Why not incorporate some solar streets and parking lots into them?

Why not apply for federal grants or matching funds for a large-scale demonstration project?

This country is staring down any number of global-warming, power-generation and infrastructure problems as we stumble forward into an uncertain future. Why not look for ways to help ourselves out of a worsening jam? Why not try this as one potential solution? We have to start somewhere. Why not here?

Well, here and in the Netherlands.

Solar roadways just might be a big part of the solution. And they look cool, too. Let's try it and see what we've really got here.

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