As we speak there are ‘over 40′ (Greenpeace and Jason claiming 55- but will use BBC just to be sure…) Greenpeace protesters on the roof of the Palace of Westminster waiting to welcome politicians back from their holiday tomorrow. They have put forward a list of 12 policies to save the climate. It’s a really interesting read – and one that at some point soon would make an interesting blog to pull apart what is and isn’t viable at the moment.
What it did make me think of, however, was something I had spotted a few weeks ago, an idea I really like, Solar Roadways. Now bear with me here, I know that this idea is slightly Sci-Fi but the more I think about it the more brilliant a solution it becomes.
Essentially some clever boffin types have produced a solar panel which can double up as road – it has a similar amount of grip to tarmac, heats itself, has LEDs to flash up messages and change road routes and puts electricity into the grid. They come in a kind of Lego type square 12′ by 12′ sheet that connects up and lasts for around 21 years (as opposed to current tarmacs life expectancy of around 7) and based on a 15% efficiency they think they can produce 7.6kWh per day. I quote from their site:
Our hypothetical 4-lane, one-mile stretch of road would require 1760 Solar Road Panels™. That means that, each day, this stretch of Solar Roadway™ would produce at least 13,376 kWh of electricity. That’s 4,882,240 kWh per year – enough to take 500 homes completely “off grid”. You don’t get that out of asphalt!
Essentially then, you could get the main road through smaller towns kitted out with these things and power the town itself not to mention that they then can sell any left over power to other countries or electricity suppliers at a nice profit going straight back into government coffers!
Anyway that just scratches the surface of the whole idea, I’d recommend you go and have a look – although these guys may be a little over their heads when you start delving into the depths of the website, surely ideas like these are things we should be considering for future climate action. As always would love to hear you thoughts and ideas, have you spotted anything similar we should be trying to bring to peoples’ attention?