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Thursday, February 11, 2016

The solar roads of France

France is embarking on a project to build more than 600 miles of roads with solar panels embedded into the pavement, which will provide energy to 10% of that nation's homes. Yes, this project faces serious economic and technical issues, which you can read about here. A lot of people think that the entire concept is absurd. But...

But do you remember when the United States took the lead in such matters?

We cannot undertake any Big Projects now. Big Projects are socialism. Big Projects require Big Gummint, and 69% of Americans think that Big Gummint is the greatest problem we face.

The ghost of Ayn Rand keeps us petty and poor.
Never going to happen.

I have no problem with either solar panels or roads. Put them together and you get dangerously slippery roads and very expensive solar panels. Roads are about the worst possible place to put solar panels.

Based in Idaho and yes the country that went to the moon now has to buy rockets from Russia.
Save your tears. The claims of the durability of these solar pavements have been fact-checked, and it turns out that the lifetime is much shorter than the promoters claim. It appears that they forgot that the tires of a semi-truck crossing one of these bricks is going to hit it five times, and every other vehicle at least once for each axle. It will be interesting to see what actual durability turns out to be in a real-world installation with real-world traffic and weather.

They would be better off installing conventional panels along the right-of-way, except for the fools that would run off the road and kill themselves hitting a panel support.
The US has had lots of Big Projects in the last 25 or so years: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria....
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