Photo courtesy of The Huffington Post and SolaRoad.

Photo courtesy of The Huffington Post and SolaRoad.

There are a few companies working together in the Netherlands calling themselves SolaRoad, who have been working on solar panels that can be embedded in a precast concrete panel used in road construction.  This concept seems like a no brainer in the United States – or anywhere in the world for that matter. There are close to 4 million miles of roads in the US alone and over 11 billion miles of roads across the world. Right now the concept is used for bike paths, as reported at NPR.com in November, but the concept will hopefully be used for vehicular roadways in the future. The most significant cost is in the research and development of the product, so the cost per mile is unclear at this time.  Although the products will be tested for another two years, The Huffington Post reported that after only six months, the “First Solar Road” has exceeded the design expectations for power generation.   This is a great solar power idea to consider incorporating into transportation projects in the future.