Try following along with Scott Brusaw's series of convoluted calculations — premised, of course, on his own conservative assumptions — and you should come away agreeing with his basic argument: that a series of roads built out of solar panels could supply all of our country's energy needs several times over. At least that's what Brusaw, the founder of Solar Roadways — a company based out of his house in Idaho — is hoping to make policymakers and industry leaders see.
He has high hopes for his series of electric roads — in fact, he believes that they may very well hold the key to solving global warming. Going off of an estimate made by Caltech solar energy expert Nate Lewis — who estimated that covering 1.7% of the U.S.' land surface with 10%-efficient solar energy converters would supply our current energy demand — Brusaw theorized that paving the country's interstate highway system (which incidentally covers close to 1.7% of the nation's land surface) with glass panels that could collect and distribute solar energy would accomplish that goal. Read