I have to say, I love this idea!
This is not a new idea, but thinking in a big way. To me, this is a no brainer. We have millions of miles of roadways in this country, and possibly billions of miles in the world. Replacing a faction of our roadways could completely take us off of fossil fuel and other polluting energy sources.
Let’s run down a quick list of pros and cons of something like this.
-Clean, Reliable, Consistent energy
Call me crazy, but the sun isn’t going anywhere. Short of a black hole initiating in the sun, the sun will continue to rise and set, and burn brightly on some part of the earth constantly. Let’s face it, almost everything we have have comes from processed sunlight. All of our food in one way or another is processed sunlight that we consume. Since we are already receive our nutrition from the sun, why not our energy to power and propel our lives?
-Increase in technical education for the additional workforce that would be needed to undertake such a project
A project of this undertaking would surely need a significant increase in the overall education of our global workforce, but an increase of the workforce in general. Education has unfortunately has taken a back seat to other issues over the years, and as a result, The United States in particular, is falling behind other developed countries. A project on a global scale would require significant investment in people. This will have several outcomes. First, people will be more educated in life, and have the ability to think larger, positively impact society in greater ways, provide greater professional accomplishment, and drive the economy as a whole. The more you invest in people, the more valuable they become in an economic sense.
-Research and development of solar and battery technology
What makes us as people great, is that we can think and solve problems to make life easier. Research and development is the cornerstone of resolving issues. As this technology becomes more wildly available, competition increases, thus improving the performance and efficiency of solar technology and batteries. This ultimately drives down costs as new competitors enter the market creating a generation of entrepreneurs from the newly educated population.
-Increase in health for the global community
It’s no secret that current methods of energy production is dirty and harmful to us. One example of this is the rise in asthma and other related breathing issues associated with dirty air. We all breath air, so why are we all intentionally poising ourselves?
-Reduction in noise pollution
Have you ever heard an electric vehicle? Nope, I didn’t think so. They are almost completely silent. The great thing about electric vehicles is that there is not combustion process like on current vehicles. The vehicles are powered quietly, thus reducing road noise. Hello increased property values for those living near busy streets!
Check out Drive Electric Northern Colorado for more information and videos about Electric Vehicles.
Additionally, without combustion engines, pollution is again reduced, creating a much more healthy breathing environment and society will no longer have to hear about people tragically falling asleep in running cars while in confined spaces.
If you think that Elective Vehicles are ugly, check out the Model S by Tesla
This all sounds well and good, but what are the downsides?
-Wont be cheap
No way around it, monetarily, a project of this undertaking will not be cheap. As we have seen in past large scale projects, no single entity can take on such engineering feats except for the government. They are the only one who can facilitate and manage projects of this scale. But then again, that’s the point of governments, to bring people together to work towards something that we couldn’t do on an individual scale. There would have to be some sort of working relationship between public and private entities to make this work. The global population would have to decide to invest in education of the work force and educate its citizens.
-Constant construction upgrading road systems
The first few years would be pretty rough with construction. There would be noise, congestion, and a surplus of road material. The upside is that if tiles break in the future, they can easily be popped out, so eventually road construction would become an unhappy memory.
There are surely challenges to overcome including societal shift in making education a a priority, people acknowledging that fossil fuels not only kill the earth, but people as well, and overcoming the energy and auto industries to move towards a more healthy and sustainable future.
Let me know what you think in the comments section!