Solar roadways? Yeah, we've seen 'em before, but we've yet to see America's own Department of Energy give any one development company such a notable vouch of confidence. Just recently, the DoE handed over a $100,000 contract to Solar Roadways, which is just enough to build a prototype of the "first ever Solar Road panel." The 12- x 12-foot panels could theoretically be embedded into roads, and when shined upon, could pipe good, clean electricity straight into the grid. Heck, they could even boast LEDs in order to alert drivers to upcoming accidents or changes in road conditions. Reportedly, each panel would cost around $7,000 (at least initially), and if these were used on the entire US Interstate system, we could pretty much forget about using non-renewable energy sources to power our homes and businesses. Of course, our government is simultaneously wasting money on repaving perfectly good roadways with antiquated asphalt, so there's a tremendously great chance that this won't amount to anything.

[Via Inhabitat, thanks Miko]

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Solar Roads get small DoE contract, confidence to change the world