Roadway panels from Solar Roadways consist of a high-strength surface layer with embedded solar cells, a middle layer containing a microprocessor board and related circuitry, and a base plate that  distributes power. Shown above is what an actual roadway created with this technology could look like.

“There’s 25,000 square miles of road surfaces, parking lots and driveways in the lower 48 states. If we covered that with solar panels with just 15 percent efficiency, we’d produce three times more electricity than this country uses on an annual basis, and it’s almost enough to power the entire world,” said Scott Brusaw, co-founder of Solar Roadways, in a segment of Your Environmental Road Trip, a new film that explores cutting-edge energy solutions.

For more information about roadways that transform sunlight into electricity and send it directly to homes or businesses lining the street, read Energy Ecosystem of the Future Hinges on Many Sources.

Photo courtesy of Solar Roadways.