Netherlands Builds First Solar Road!3
October 17, 2015 by JImbo
Netherlands Becomes First Country to Use a Solar Road
World’s First Solar Road Opens!
Now the part where I destroy your precious dreams of futuristic paradise.
Sorry, but this is WHAT I DO!
Would you rather be happy in ignorance or be disappointed by the truth?
Don’t answer that.
Anyway, here’s what is IN the article but people will gloss over as “unimportant details.”
The 70 meter stretch of road cost $3.15 million to install. No word on maintenance, but I’m sure it’ll cost more than simple blacktop to patch when it breaks.
That’s a “minimal investment” of just $45,000 per meter (3.3 feet) of road.
“Chump change!” you say.
Now a mile is 1600 meters, so that’s almost exactly $72,000,000 per mile.
Oooooh now that could put a dent in the county budget.
For comparison, the entire County of 93,000 people I’m in has a yearly property tax levy of about $169 million. So the whole COUNTY of almost 100,000 people could together pay for 2.35 miles… if they did NOTHING ELSE.
No schools, no water department, no police… just built 2.35 miles of solar roadway.
My town’s levy of $536,000 would pay for a total of almost 12 meters of roadway.
So, all 15,000 of us could afford 40 feet of roadway to share.
Hooray for the environment!
Of course the output of these “solar roads” is less than stellar either.
According to the article you can power “three homes” for the 70-meter strip.
So, those 12 meters in my town would power 1/2 of one house… for over half a million dollars.
In fact it is a good rough estimate that $1 million worth of solar road powers one home for a year. So, for just a $1 million you get to save maybe $2,500 a year!
At that rate it would pay for itself in just a short span of 400 years!
Provided there’s no snow on the road.
And it’s never cloudy.
And it never breaks.
Or needs to be replaced.
And we’re even still around in 400 years.
But hey… SCIENCE!
Other peoples money is easy to spend!
Damn right Anonymous. Down here we’ve put 1.25 billion NZD into 2.4 km of motorway, half of which is in twin tunnels to avoid pushing through easy terrain that happens to be a “leafy” suburb. Wa-all – that’s cheaper than your solar road but I suspect some fundamental technical limitation might come into play. Another highway is costing $NZ 1 bn for 22km, which is about 14 miles. I’m getting 66 cents for my NZ dollar so that highway’s costing about $47m per mile. More to the point, solar panels are damn slippery.
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Good points, Kevin. Dunno what snow plows will do to them in the winter time either.
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