Skip to main content

Plans to replace roads with solar panels gain support on Indiegogo

A couple's rather outlandish plans to replace the roads with solar panels look to be in motion after their project, Solar Roadways, raised over $1 million (£595,000) on Indiegogo.

Julie and Scott Brusaw had already secured two rounds of funding from the Federal Highway Administration, from which they built a prototype car park made of solar panels, microprocessors and LEDs, covered by a textured glass that can apparently withstand the considerable weight of a truck.

Scott boasts a background in electrical engineering, and, despite how ridiculous the idea might sound, it is actually a valid one.

Replacing our current asphalt roads with solar panels would reportedly generate three times the electricity used in the entire US, and would also be able to filter rainwater, melt snow and light up to warn drivers of obstacles on the road.

However, the costs involved would be astronomical.

Joel Anderson, a business editor for has already rejected the idea, by highlighting the fact that there are "too many more practical, more promising investments to be made to seriously consider this pipe dream."

Read more: The smart city: What lies behind the slogan?

Many of the technological challenges that will arise, such as how to store the solar power or increases the efficiency of the panels, seem to be solvable. Whether the price tag will be reasonable enough to entice buyers is another question entirely.

Perhaps this particular idea is just a little bit too far outside the box.