Last September, we told you about the idea for a solar road that would generate power, even when used as normal. Vehicles would drive on the road, but a translucent glass surface backed by photovoltaic solar collectors would suck up the sun's energy into super- and ultracapacitors throughout the day. In some areas at some times, the energy would be used to heat the road and melt snow and ice, but the real holy grail here, IMHO, is to plug the road into the grid. Apparently, by using this three-layer solar road on all of the highways in the U.S., we could generate enough electricity to power the world. Seriously.

The brains behind this idea is Scott Brusaw, and the good news for all of us is that the solar roads idea is moving forward. An Idaho-based company called Solar Roadways has been attempting to get universities and research labs on board and is also working on a 45-mile prototype between Coeur D'Alene and Sandpoint, Idaho. Investors - because this will not be a cheap project - will be approached once Solar Roadways has cost estimates although Brusaw said four companies have expressed interest.

This project shouldn't be confused with the solar energy stored in asphalt idea that Dutch company Ooms Avenhorn is working on or the new solar road studs developed by Astucia in the UK. These are all very cool ideas, but Brusaw's has the most potential, should it be implemented. There's a video interview with Brusaw after the break.