A while back I blogged about the utopian vision of a solar-powered roadway system paved in glass. It's been about a year and the producers of "YERT" (Your Environmental Road Trip) returned to the shop of Solar Roadways inventor Scott Brusaw whose company won a grant from the U.S. Dept. of Transportation to build a prototype module.
It still seems like a far-fetched vision requiring almost limitless sums of money, but when you factor in the skyrocketing costs of asphalt (which has gone up 10 times in cost in the last two years) and the enormously expensive retrofit of our existing electrical grid for renewable energy, the all-in-one solution of a road system that produces and delivers electricity along with data and LED lighting, it starts to make a bit more sense.
Perhaps the biggest hurdle to overcome is the material properties of the glass that has to be glare-free and completely shatter-proof, while being transparent enough to harvest the sun's light. But with major breakthroughs in glass technology, this could one day become a feasible solution for the highways of the 21st century.
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