It would require an effort on scale with the Emergency Relief and Construction Act prior to WWII and the building of the Alaska Highway during WWII. Unfortunately with the US political system so fractured in our times another effort of that scope won't happen in our lifetime. Even if both parties could come to an agreement to go ahead with it, it'd be years in overruns & billions in expenses as every local Senator (and Congressman, State Reps, Mayors, Councilman, etc.) would fight to get a bigger piece of the pie to spend in their region. Each party would blame each other for the fiasco and at the end the finished product would just be a portion of what the goal was.
Sounds interesting, to expand on the idea, imagine adding inductive charging points all along the road, too, so electric cars would be charged as they're passing over the tiles.
Although, free electricity? Psh, you'd probably be charged for every tile you pass over.
I see (imagine) a lot of the coal and nuclear lobbyist in the future fighting against this idea. This would make them a thing of the past if the government / people (who owns the roads) had control over their own energy.
By building them in the lower states only, I'd imagine
I have no idea what the climate is like in the southern states, does it snow in the south of the USA? hehe
But even so, you could put solar panels all along the sides of the roads, to make up for not covering the roads in the north
I suppose they could always put tiny heating elements in the glass, so when snow has fallen, a remote command switches on the heating element, just enough to melt it
I don't know what the ramafications of that would be regarding all the snow melting, but it's always an option.
If they were thinking of putting these roads everywhere, then the power generated in non snow hit areas, could power the heating elements in areas which are under snow.
since they are already electric....they could have heat elements in them to melt snow on contact and by using a constant grading of the road, control where the flow goes until it eventually runs off into a drain or freeze off the road....you might be able to eliminate plows on a lot of roads...
Don't want to rain on his parade, but I don't think he's really thought this through.
I think a highway of solar cells would be useless. How would you get the power from the highway into the local grid? There's a reason power is transmitted from the plant to the city over high tension lines - it's more efficient. It would be impractical to simply have wiring embedded into the roads taking the power from each section of solar cells and passing it along.
Think of how solar farms work. You have a lot of solar panels in a small area. Panels are grouped together to increase voltage and current. These groups of panels would send the power to a central hub where it would be converted into high voltage AC to be transmitted to where it's needed (say a nearby factory or city).
Now imagine taking that solar farm and turning it into one long solar cell array (a highway). Now instead of having a cluster of solar panels with short, low loss efficient wiring to the central hub you now have those panels stretched over several miles. That is a very in-efficient way to connect solar cells and transmit power.
Now solar roads in your own neighborhood would make more sense. If your local street was a solar street then you could get power from the road to your house and the distance the power has to travel would be very short. The problem, though, is that a street of solar cells probably couldn't generate the power the houses along it would consume. But it could reduce the amount of electricity the houses take from the grid.
Then again, why a solar street when I could simply have a solar roof? A roof collects far more sunlight since it's at a better angle in relation to the sun. Streets, being flat, are already at a disadvantage in terms of how much sunlight they get. Why spend money on expensive solar cells, and then not even bother to have them aimed at the sun to get maximum exposure?
I'm rambling a bit, but I just see so many problems with his idea.