Essay by laureenlafondCollege, Undergraduate October 2014

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Laureen LaFond

Prof Cummings

English College Comp

October 1, 2014

Solar Roadways

The world as we all know it today is slowly being killed. Environmentalists are encouraging people to go green for everything! From recycling, reusable containers, electric cars, to solar roadways? According to the Energy Information Association, it's estimated that less than half the world's total conventional oil supply will be exhausted by 2030. These estimates include existing oil supplies and further expected supplies resulting from new technology and discovery. World oil supply at the end of 2013 totaled 1645.98 billion barrels, over 3.1 times the level in 1971. The world's oil supplies have steadily increased amongst the face of rising consumption. (EIA) Once we run out of oil, we're forced to find another solution. Solar Roadways are a concept of replacing current petroleum-based asphalt roads, parking lots, and driveways with road panels made from recycled materials and incorporating photovoltaic cells that generate renewable energy that may be used by homes and businesses, and with any excess energy perhaps stored in or alongside the road.

There are many potential downsides to this process, but also many environmental benefits. In this essay I will explain more in depth the process of using and future use, and elaborate on the benefits and concerns people may have about solar roadways.

Founders: Scott Brusaw and his wife, Julie, often tell their story of how they met at such a young age. Scott works as an electrical engineer, and Julie is a passionate environmentalist. Their idea is to use photovoltaic cells, which absorb photons of light and directly convert them into electrons to produce electricity (NASA Photovoltaics), and encase them in frames of sturdy glass capable of withstanding the pressures of typical traffic patterns. The specifics for their glass panels, which was developed by...