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El Dorado: Highways Paved With… Solar Cells

OK, this is not strictly photography-related news but it could have import for all of us if it were to pan out. The premise is that highways basking in the hot sun are wasted energy so Scott Brusaw wants to make them out of solar panels enbedded into glass. Yes, glass.

His company, Solar Roadways, is embedding PV cells and LED lights into panels engineered to withstand the forces of traffic (yes, the panels’ glass is textured for traction, embedded with heating elements for melting away ice and snow, able to survive years of traffic, including from 40-ton trucks with snow chains, and is self-cleaning). The lights would allow for “smart” roadways and parking lots with changeable signage, while the cells would generate enough energy to power businesses, cities and, eventually, the entire country.

Imagine being able to power and/or recharge your electronic devices, including the battery inside your digital camera, literally on the road.

My only concern is that people might be tearing out the expensive $10,000 panels from the road…

Read more at: PopSci.