It looks pretty cool but I wonder about the costs to start it and maintain it. I really like the push towards generating electricity through the use of motion from objects.
i saw this a few days ago and found the idea convincing. solar panel roads have incredible potential (although i am not aware of the technicalities and science behind it). i would be interested to know how these solar panel roadways would be good in midwestern and northeastern winters. can someone take a stab at it?
These roadways certainly seem like a panacea after watching this video, so I wonder what some of the arguments are against it (and not arguments from the current energy corporations that would likely oppose it). I also wonder what Elon Musk makes of it all - he has been in my opinion very forward in his thinking and a leader in innovation in these new clean energy movements.
I agree that solar will be the main source of energy in the future, but I don't think we'll have these huge solar panel roadways. Given the exponential improvements in the cost effectiveness of solar panels and the advances in nanotechnology, I think we'll have much smaller solar panels that are orders of magnitude more efficient than our current solar panels. If we just place these extraordinarily efficient "nanoteched" solar panels in a small segment of world's unused deserts, we will have more than enough energy to power the whole planet.
There is a lot of politics involved in the highways. Even the small road in the small towns takes years to get repaired therefore, the initial investment is going to be a huge issue.There is 4 million miles road in America right now and initially it might cost more to build such roads than the normal roads. Furthermore, there is going to huge backlash from the big oil corporation and manufacturing companies for road materials.
I agree with Sanjay and Hikaru. Solar road panels seem to be a panacea to be realized in the near future. But at least someone is doing it and willing to go through all the hurdles (political, economic, and technical) to develop technology on a large scale. I think nanotechnology has lots of potential because everything will be in a small size, which will be easy to for transportation and scaling-up.
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I would love to see this work out, but I will remain pessimistic for now. This reminds me of the failure of wind turbines. Right now, a typical wind turbine lasts 40 years before it has to be replaced. Wind turbines right now are very expensive to the point that a unit is unable to generate enough revenue to cover its cost at the end of its 40 year period before it has to be replaced. That's why wind energy farms are heavily subsidized by governments. I want more details on the logistics of solar roadways because with all the cars and trucks driving over those solar panels and damages from weather conditions, I have no doubt that there will be high maintenance costs. In other words, will the benefits/revenues generated from the solar roadways outnumber the cost of installation and maintenance? If not, this form of energy will fail.
I actually like the idea that these may have (relatively) high maintenance costs. If the federal government subsidized programs to create "test" roads in a variety of US geographies, it could act as a stimulus package where states would need to employ people to build and maintain these test roads. It might encourage other innovators as well to build similar products to compete
Yeah this will all come down to costs to work. However, I think that that energy sector is going to 'save' the economy in the coming years, because of the focus on climate change around the world. An interesting book about this subject is A Green Collar Economy by Van Jones, who came and spoke at K a few years ago. He was also on Obamas staff for awhile.
This is definitely a great idea and would really change energy costs but again as other have mentioned the cost of maintaining it especially in countries with harsh winters would be really high. However, I'm sure it would be really successful in tropical countries or nations with milder climates/winters. The initial cost would be expensive but worthwhile in the long run and we will be doing justice to the ozone layer.
Wow this is interesting. Hopefully there are no unforeseen major problems that will affect our lives.
I am not as concerned with the costs, as the Indigogo campaign suggets that the roads pay for themselves. Rather, I am skeptical that the roads work as advertised. If they really do, I don't think the developers would be looking towards this website for funding.