Recent events, like historic floods and endless wildfires have made it very clear that climate change isn’t a future issue – it is affecting us TODAY. It is a truly wicked problem that deserves heroic solutions. Fortunately, there are many able-minded scientists on the job! And one idea out of the small town of Sagel, Idaho might just fit the bill.
It’s the vision of husband & wife, Scott and Julie Brusaw: solar roadways. The idea is, create an array of solar panels – 12 x 12 feet and hexagonal – composed of durable materials that could be driven on for decades. The Brusaws have been incubating the idea since 2009 hoping to raise $1 million in funding before the research begins. Instead, they got $2 million and the project is running full speed ahead.
It’s an innovative vision that the International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications believes can have a huge impact on the path toward a sustainable future. The organization estimates that if the United States’ over 2 million miles of asphalt are replaced with solar roadways, the nation’s demand of electricity would be covered three times over. Moreover, as the panels are heated, during winter months the long process of plowing snow in colder regions would be greatly diminished. Clearer roads means safer drivers.
Of course, this project will take a lot of time, and A LOT more funding. But it’s become very clear that steps need to be taken now to stave the impending effects of climate change. Fortunately the Brusaws recently announced that the Department of Transportation in Missouri has expressed great interest in the innovative technology. The couple is excited about the possibilities.