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Luis and Lucais

English 219-002

Sources for 3:2

Current Issues

1. Craighead, Mary. “A Comparison of Highway Construction Costs in the Midwest and

Nationally.” ​Midwest Economic Policy Institute.​ 20 March 2018.

This is an article that we received from Jeff Martinez, the engineer working at

NMDOT. This is an article providing information about cost per lane, per mile in US

states. The national average per lane, per mile is $36,473. This information is only for US

highways, which according to Martinez, are the most expensive types of roads to build

due to the amount of benchmarks that have to be met. Also there are statistics on the cost

of highways per lane per mile based upon population density that is perfect for our cause.

This is information that is perfect for what we need. Given that the information in

the article is for the most expensive type of road we have, the cost to construct residential

roads can only be less than the highways. We plan on converting a residential road in

Albuquerque to a solar road and therefore this shouldn’t be as expensive as converting a

highway to solar. Also since Albuquerque is rather “lightly” populated when compared to

other big cities such as Los Angeles or New York, the cost to convert an existing road to

solar here in New Mexico should not be as expensive as it could be elsewhere.


2. Environment New Mexico. “Go Solar, New Mexico.”

environmentnewmexico.org/programs/nme/Go-solar-new-mexico. 2017.

This article speaks about how more people in the United States now are going

solar, in which “Another family or business goes solar every four minutes.” It also

explains how other companies, ‘dirty energy companies,’ are attacking solar companies

in their efforts to keep solar energy at less than 3% of all power in the United States.

However, it states that going solar makes sense for America and making commitments

for New Mexico to go 25% solar by 2025 will help make it to the national goal of going

10% solar by 2030. This is useful information because it gives data on the state of New

Mexico and what is expected to be achieved within a certain period of time which is in 7

years. The goal of this source is to explain what is expected to become of New Mexico in

the goal of going solar for the state and the country.

This research definitely helps our company because we will be helping the state

of New Mexico get to 25% solar energy by 2025. Because we are going to be building

solar roads, this will increase the efficiency of surface area covered by a road, because it

will also provide electricity to surrounding buildings and homes, which is part of our

company’s mission statement. We want to create a cleaner future for the state of New

Mexico and this will be the beginning of our project. What we can possibly include with

this information is showing how much electricity is being produced by solar power

before we intervene, next to a picture of how much will be produced after we go in and

help.
3. Hornigold, Thomas. “Are Solar Roads the Highway of the Future, or a Road to

Nowhere?” Singularity Hub, 13 Jan. 2018,

singularityhub.com/2018/01/15/are-solar-roads-the-highway-of-the-future-or-a-ro

ad-to-nowhere/#sm.00003wt9ybjbedq61018mh2a1ygmq.

This article states that around 0.2-0.5% of the world’s land surface is covered in

roads. It also says that this proportion is set to increase to approximately 60% by 2050.

This is a huge fraction of territory and although it is not necessarily so reliable, we can

still assume that the proportion will definitely go up from 0.5% in the next few coming

years. It will not stay like that because we know that transportation is increasing and trade

is something that is important for all societies. However, one question that this source

asks is “What if roads doubled as power generators?” That is something to think about.

What if roads could be used not only as transportation, but also as a means of producing

power and electricity?

To persuade the client to hire us, we might want to present this information to

them. There will be an increase of roads in the near future. What if we could provide

electricity with those roads meanwhile using them for what their intended purpose was. It

can serve two purposes at once. We know that more roads means more transportation and

worse environmental conditions, but being able to balance that out might make it better

for the future. Making solar roads can be symbolic of New Mexico’s commitment to

renewable energy solutions.


4. Patel, Neel. “What is the Point of a Solar Road.?” ​slate.com​.

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2017/12/solar_roads_ar

e_almost_definitely_not_the_future.html

This article provides information about an existing solar road in China in the

Shangdon province. The solar road is 1 kilometer long and is theorized by its engineers to

provide 1 gigawatt of energy over a single year. This is not much energy at all, but this is

an example of how these roads could be improved. Also this article provides numbers on

how much the roadway costs, but doesn’t cite where the numbers come from. Supposedly

it cost about $458 per square meter to build, far more expensive than the $5 a square

meter for an asphalt road.

This article is a little skeptical of solar roadways initially. I think the Chinese

example is something that can be improved upon. Also I think the implementation of

clear concrete is a little overdone, and perhaps makes these solar cells in the road a little

less efficient than they could be. Overall I’m glad to see what skeptics of solar roads are

worried about and this article points out these points quite nicely.

5. TRIP Research Group. “New Mexico Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s

Need for Safe, Smooth, and Efficient Mobility.” Tripnet.org. 2016.

This is a research journal talking about a study completed in February of 2016. It

includes statistics on poor quality roads in the state and Albuquerque. It turns out 25% of

roads in the entire state are in poor condition, while 32% of roads in Albuquerque are

also in poor condition. Also, there are plenty of other statistics that are helpful such as the
monetary benefit per dollar spent on improving roads in New Mexico. TRIP is based out

of Washington, D.C.

This information is perfect for what we need. The statistics highlight just how

many of New Mexico’s roads are considered to be in poor condition and this can help our

case by saying, “hey these roads are bad, lets replace them with solar roads.” Of course

we are not trying to replace all poor condition roads with solar roads, but this argument

can help our cause.

Past and Current Solutions

6. Anthony, Sebastian. “Solar Roadways Passes $1.4 Million in Crowdfunding: Just Short of

the $56 Trillion Required, but Not Bad for a Crazy Idea.” ​ExtremeTech​,

2014.www.extremetech.com/extreme/183130-solar-roadways-passes-1-4-million-

in-crowdfunding-just-short-of-the-56-trillion-required-but-not-bad-for-a-crazy-ide

This article speaks about the company Solar Roadways and its goal of developing

one of the most innovative projects known today. This is replacing roads with

hard-wearing solar cells. It mostly says that despite $850000 in grants from the

Department of Transport, Solar Roadways has only built a small parking lot. It obviously

is really costly to build solar roads and parking lots, but in the end, that investment pays

off environmentally and economically. The source says that ​“Back in 2010, Scott Brusaw

estimated a cost of $10,000 for a 12-foot-by-12-foot segment of Solar Roadway, or

around $70 per square foot; asphalt, on the other hand, is somewhere around $3 to $15,
depending on the quality and strength of the road.” This source says that the project can

be risky because of the cost.

We know that the project of building solar roads is kind of risky to implement

across a big stretch of road or along a whole state. But, if we start in a road in the state of

New Mexico which has sunlight for the majority of the year, then we might be able to

prove that this investment is worth it due to the electricity that will be generated and the

environment will be much cleaner, such as cleaner water because of less pollution. This

fits well into our idea because we want to have glass on top of the solar panels, and this

article shows how their cost.

7. Creighton, Jolene. “Solar Roadway Installed in Netherlands Works Better Than

Anticipated.”Futurism, 11 May 2015,

futurism.com/solar-roadway-installed-in-netherlands-works-better-than-anticipate

d/.

This article talks about the solar bikeway in Netherlands that has been working

better than was anticipated. Instead of a roadway, which is what our intended plan is, this

source speaks about the possibility of a solar bike path next to a road instead of the actual

road itself. This bike path would provide electricity for the street lights and other homes

and buildings that are near the road. One of the most important parts of the source is that

it describes what different aspects the road has.​ ​“Ultimately, this feat was accomplished

by using rows of crystalline silicon solar cells that were embedded into the concrete of

the path and covered over by a thick, tempered glass.”


We can rely on this source to argue that a solar pathway can definitely work if it

is implemented well enough. By showing the example of the Netherlands, we can show

how we might similarly make our solar panels work under the tempered glass, which is

the option we are inclined to. The roads can be slightly tilted, just like it is explained in

this article. So we can use quotes from this source to make our argument stronger.

8. Golson, Jordan. “World's First 'Solar Panel Road' Opens in France.” The Verge. The

Verge. 22 Dec. 2016.

www.theverge.com/2016/12/22/14055756/solar-panel-road-electricity-france-nor

mandy.

This article depicts the world’s first ‘solar panel road’ that opened in the streets of

France, more specifically in the small village of Tourouvre-au-Perche in Normandy,

France. It says that it is a “1 kilometer road that could generate enough electricity to

power the street lights.” This is a relatively similar stretch of road that we are seeking to

implement with our solution as well. It is about .7 miles and to begin with, that is exactly

what we are looking for. We want to try out the project first and then see how it is

working before we go on to other roads in the state and at the end lose money.

This is perfect to include in our research because it is a small road in a small

village. This was a good way to begin experimenting with the effects that the road would

have, such as only generating enough electricity for the street lights. Similarly to how we

are going to start, which is with a small road, we can expect the results to be about the
same. The electricity that will be produced will be enough for the street lights and maybe

even also for other small buildings near the road.

9. Robinson-Avila, Kevin. “New Mexico Solar Industry Finally Hitting Its Stride.”

Government Technology: State & Local Government News Articles, 2 Aug.

2016,

www.govtech.com/fs/New-Mexico-Solar-Industry-Finally-Hitting-its-Stride.html.

This source described how the New Mexico Solar Industry is finally hitting its

stride as thousands of new customers have finally considered going solar. Utilities

nationwide are are turning to the sun for electricity generation. This is a good thing

because there will always be a sun; However, non-renewable resources will not always be

there for us. Thus, this article describing the positivity of solar energy will be useful in

making a point that going solar in New Mexico is the best option!

Because we are a company that will focus on providing electricity through solar

energy, many people will benefit from the fact that New Mexico is now considering

going solar. We are adapting our mission statement to this and we want to take advantage

of the situation because if people are aware and concerned of their families lives, then

they will take the correct decision of choosing to go solar. We want to help improve the

state of New Mexico and the citizens of this state should support us in providing energy

for them at an investment that makes sense for the present and the future.

10. Solar Energy Technologies Office. “Solar Projects Map.” ​energy.gov.


https://www.energy.gov/ eere/solar/solar-projects-map

This is an interactive map showing all current solar energy projects in the United

States. The website allows for you to find projects anywhere and click on them to see

specifics on them such as cost, area of research, amount of money awarded, etc. This is

helpful because we can use these numbers to see how much other large scale solar

projects cost around the country and the world.

This map allows us to justify that a somewhat large scale solar panel project is

nothing new, and that it is only helping us strive for a cleaner future. Burning less fossil

fuels in the future is key to keeping Earth habitable and solar projects like the ones in this

map will help us get there. Of course these projects are expensive, but action has to be

taken at some point, and when does cost stop outweighing the benefit that solar will

provide.

Details

11. Chaname, Javier. “The Power of the Sun Gods: Future of Solar Energy.”

https://escholarship.org/uc/item/14g7p4b1. 2016.

This is a research journal that can be very useful to explain all the information

about solar energy from the history of it to how it is doing right now to what seems to be

the future of it. It describes what solar energy is and the three current ways that solar

energy is harnessed in. The first one is solar electric (photovoltaics) which is what we
might use to implement our solution. It gives an illustrated and detailed explanation of

what photovoltaics is and specifically how it works. This source also goes through the

process of how solar cells are manufactured so we might need to use this in our

presentation and research the price of producing these cells so we can get a very good

estimate of the price of our solution.

This academic research journal is very reliable because it is detailed research on

all about solar energy and its origins and future. If we want the client to hire us, we have

to have some prior knowledge about the history of solar energy and where we see it

going in the future. So with this journal, we can gain all the knowledge we need and

make connections to our implementation which will be located in the state of New

Mexico. Solar energy is the future of renewable energy, but accounts for very little of the

energy in the U.S. (4%).

12. Knier, Gil. “How do Photovoltaics Work?.” ​science.nasa.gov.

https://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2002/solarcells

This article describes the basics of how solar arrays, modules, and cells work. To

put simply, when light from the sun hits a solar cell (a charged semiconductive wafer) it

knocks loose electrons from this cell that is then caught by the negative side of an

electrical conductor. Thus creating an electrical current. Alongside this information, this

article also describes a general efficiency rate of solar cells to be around 35% with

today’s technology.

I think this article is important to highlight the efficiency percentage of solar cells

in today’s technology. As we can see, they are not that efficient, but with research being
conducted to concentrate sunlight, I think this number can increase, and of course solar is

not being used to its full potential here in New Mexico and the southwest. Hopefully

SunnyRoad can help increase solar presence in New Mexico.

13. Martinez, Jeffrey, P.E. Phone interview. 28 March 2018.

This phone call was to the “Plans Specifications and Estimates” Bureau Manager

for the New Mexico Department of Transportation. This call was conducted in order to

find out how much road reconstruction and repair costs per mile in New Mexico. Initially

Mr. Martinez didn’t have the numbers so he agreed to call me back with numbers. After

he called back, he gave me an estimate of …

This phone call ended up turning into emails being sent back and forth, and some

official data being given to us directly from NMDOT. Mr. Martinez also told us over the

phone that the cost of roads is not always a flat rate. It depends on the type or road

(interstate, residential, etc.), whether or not it is a rebuild or resurfacing, how much traffic

will be on it, the type of asphalt, etc.

14. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. “Concentrating Solar Power.”

energy.gov​. https://www.energy.gov/eere/solar/concentrating-solar-power

This is an article describing specifics on concentrating sunlight that reaches solar

cells to increase efficiency. Also there are some numbers given describing the cost of

electricity, saying that the cost per kilowatt hour is down by 36% from 2011 due to
increased solar energy presence in New Mexico. This research is being conducted by

Sandia National Laboratories.

Concentrating solar energy is the key to making more efficient and beneficial

solar energy. According to the website, it is the “way of the future.” I think this is looking

at the use of solar energy in a very realistic viewpoint. This isn’t “sugar coating” how

great solar energy is, clearly it’s not all that efficient with current technology. But the

Energy department is hopeful that with research and effort, it can be made to meet the

energy demand that we have.

15. Solar Energy Industries Association. “New Mexico Solar.”

https://www.seia.org/state-solar-policy/new-mexico-solar. March 12, 2018

This factsheet presents statistics about solar energy in the state of New Mexico. It

depicts information about how much electricity is being generated, for what purpose, and

much more detailed information about how New Mexico is doing with solar power. It

shows that New Mexico is ranked 16th in solar energy generation, when it was in 26th in

2017. That is a big improvement and it shows how it can keep going up the list and

possibly make it into the top 10 by the end of the year. Perhaps one of the most important

pieces of information that this factsheet presents us with is that the percentage of the

state’s electricity that comes from solar power is 3.9%. The goal is going 25% solar by

2025. So it will probably be a hassle to get to that percentage in 7 years, but if our

company helps build some solar roads, then that percentage looks more like a reality than

just a dream. The source just looks to state facts to the public, and does not give any
opinions on how New Mexico is doing in terms of producing electricity using solar

energy.

This will give us many facts that we can state in our presentation and it will make

our company look good because then people will see that we want to help New Mexico in

terms of solar power. Maybe we can use the information of the percentage to create an

illustration where we show how our company will affect the electricity generated and

how this will eventually end up making our state a cleaner place in terms of how we get

our electricity. It is something that is expensive, but we will definitely have to do it

because coal will not last forever.