Put solar panels on our national highways

Here’s a simple but powerful idea to help accelerate the clean energy revolution: put solar panels on our roads.

solar-panels-on-highwaysWhy let all that sunshine hitting the pavement go to waste when we could harness it to generate to clean energy? Recognizing the opportunity, South Korea, the Netherlands, and France are planning to cover their roadways with heavy-duty solar panels.

America should follow suit and consider experimenting with the idea here at home. The energy potential alone is tantalizing. Solarizing 1000 kilometers of pavement in France, for example, could provide electricity for up to 5 million people.

Let’s get this idea on the table as national, state, and local stakeholders debate how best to repair and modernize our crumbling roads, bridges, and other infrastructure. For more information, see “France Plans To Build Hundreds Of Miles Of Solar-Paved Roads,” Fast Company, and “France’s ‘Wattway’ Solar Road Set To Power Millions Of Homes,” Huffington Post Canada (video included).

June 17, 2016 update: the state of Missouri is actively considering a pilot program to install solar panels on roadways.