Solar Roadways: Efficient, Cost-Effective, Scalable

We could literally pave the road in renewable energy.


One year ago, the Netherlands constructed a bike path made of photovoltaic cells, connecting Amsterdam and its suburbs. It was a pilot program to test and show the possibility of solar roadways as a profitable solution.

"If we can additionally incorporate solar cells in road pavements, then a large extra area will become available for decentralized solar energy generation without the need for extra space ... and just part of the roads which we build and use anyway," says Sten de Wit from the SolaRoad consortium in an interview with Fast Co.

The team plans to build on the experience they gained through the pilot program. The initial prototype was pricey. However, the team is looking for a solar road to pay for itself within 15 years of use. As technologies improve, cost goes down.

Elon Musk has demonstrated this kind of product planning with his Tesla series. He has already stated that Tesla will be moving into the third stage of its development plan, producing a mass-market car. It's expected to be priced at $35,000 and roll out before 2020.

“That was the goal with Tesla ... to try to serve as a catalyst to accelerate the day, the day of electric vehicles.”

European wind farms could meet global energy demand, researchers now say

A new study estimated the untapped potential of wind energy across Europe.

Pixabay
Surprising Science
  • A new report calculated how much electricity Europe could generate if it built onshore wind farms on all of its exploitable land.
  • The results indicated that European onshore wind farms could supply the whole world with electricity from now until 2050.
  • Wind farms come with a few complications, but the researchers noted that their study was meant to highlight the untapped potential of the renewable energy source in Europe.
Keep reading Show less

First solar roadway in France turned out to be a 'total disaster'

French newspapers report that the trial hasn't lived up to expectations.

Image source: Charly Triballeau / AFP / Getty Images
Technology & Innovation
  • The French government initially invested in a rural solar roadway in 2016.
  • French newspapers report that the trial hasn't lived up to expectations.
  • Solar panel "paved" roadways are proving to be inefficient and too expensive.
Keep reading Show less

New vaccine (for cats) nixes allergic reactions for humans

You want one. Now you may be able to survive one.


Photo credit: Jie Zhao
/ Getty contributor
Technology & Innovation
  • Cats live in a quarter of Western households.
  • Allergies to them are common and can be dangerous.
  • A new approach targets the primary trouble-causing allergen.
Keep reading Show less