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EcoWatch is a community of experts publishing quality, science-based content on environmental issues, causes, and solutions for a healthier planet and life.
Sections of the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline are seen on the construction site on the White Earth Nation Reservation near Wauburn, Minnesota, on June 5, 2021. KEREM YUCEL / AFP via Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

Indigenous and environmental activists fighting against the Line 3 tar sands pipeline were outraged Thursday after the Biden administration filed a legal brief backing the federal government's 2020 approval of the project under former President Donald Trump.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
A member of the White House cleaning staff sanitizes the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room on Oct. 5, 2020 in Washington, DC. Donald Trump, several members of his staff, and three members of the press corps have recently tested positive for coronavirus. Win McNamee / Getty Images

Both Facebook and Twitter acted Tuesday to flag a post by President Donald Trump in which he once again downplayed the new coronavirus by comparing it to the seasonal flu.

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Frederic Stevens/ Getty Images News / Getty Images

For nearly as long as solar panels have been gracing rooftops and barren land, creative people have been searching out additional surfaces that can be tiled with energy-generating photovoltaic (PV) panels. The idea has been pretty straightforward: if solar panels generate energy simply by facing the sun, then humans could collectively reduce our reliance on coal, oil, gas and other polluting fuels by maximizing our aggregate solar surface area.

So, what kind of unobstructed surfaces are built in every community and in between every major city across the globe? Highways and streets. With this in mind, the futuristic vision of laying thousands, or even millions, of solar panels on top of the asphalt of interstates and main streets was born.

While the concept art looked like a still from a sci-fi film, many inventors, businesses and investors saw these panels as a golden path toward clean energy and profit. Ultimately, though, the technology and economics ended up letting down those working behind each solar roadway project — from initial concepts in the early 2000s to the first solar roadway actually opened in France in 2016, they all flopped.

In the years since the concept of solar roadways went viral, solar PV has continued to improve in technology and drop in price. So, with a 2021 lens, is it time to re-run the numbers and see if a solar roadway could potentially deliver on that early promise? We dig in to find out.

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A young gray wolf in Wisconsin. Lynn_Bystrom / iStock / Getty Images Plus
A new study found that as many as a third of Wisconsin's gray wolves died from human hunting and the loss of federal protections under the Endangered Species Act.
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Flowers grow in front of unused pipe intended for the Keystone XL pipeline outside Gascoyne, North Dakota in 2014. Andrew Burton / Getty Images

The Keystone XL pipeline is officially canceled.

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Trump exits from the stage after speaking at the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse on Sept. 8, 2020 in Jupiter, Florida. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

President Trump told a crowd in Jupiter, Florida Tuesday that he is an environmental president, claiming that "it's true: number one since Teddy Roosevelt. Who would have thought Trump is the great environmentalist?" according to the White House transcript of the speech. He added, "And I am. I am. I believe strongly in it."

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Trump departs from a Senate Republicans luncheon on Capitol Hill on March 10, 2020. Caroline Brehman / CQ-Roll Call, Inc. via Getty Images

President Trump admitted to downplaying the risk of the coronavirus after tapes were released of him acknowledging the dangers to journalist Bob Woodward. The tapes from February and March for Woodward's new book "Rage" show that the president's private conversations stood in stark contrast to what he was telling the public, as The New York Times reported.

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Dr. Anthony Fauci receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the National Institutes of Health on Dec. 22, 2020, in Bethesda, Maryland. PATRICK SEMANSKY / POOL / AFP via Getty Images

By Brett Wilkins

The United States will most likely experience a "post-seasonal" spike in coronavirus infections largely due to holiday travel and gatherings, current and former U.S. health officials said on Sunday.

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Trending
Trump arrives for a news conference in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on Aug. 12, 2020. NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP via Getty Images

The Trump administration continued its war on appliance efficiency Wednesday with a proposal to increase the water that can flow from showerheads.

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Solar panel manufacturing in India. Sakib Ali / Hindustan Times via Getty Images

One of the chief arguments against transitioning away from fossil fuels and towards a zero-carbon economy is that it would cost the world energy jobs. But is such a fear really justified?

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A farmer in Mississippi County, Arkansas looks at rows of soybean plats that show signs of dicamba drift damage. The Washington Post via Getty Images

By Kenny Stancil

A new report released Monday by a federal oversight agency revealed that before former President Donald Trump's Environmental Protection Agency reapproved use of dicamba in 2018, high-ranking officials in the administration intentionally excluded scientific evidence of certain hazards related to the herbicide, including the risk of widespread drift damage.

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Trump and Paradise Mayor Jody Jones view damage from the Camp Fire in Paradise, California on Nov. 17, 2018. SAUL LOEB / AFP via Getty Images

President Donald Trump wanted to cut off wildfire relief money to California because the state did not support his political goals, a former administration staffer has claimed.

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A young protester during a demonstration against the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota on Jan. 29, 2021.Tim Evans / NurPhoto via Getty Images

A federal judge ruled Friday the Dakota Access Pipeline may continue pumping oil despite lacking a key federal permit while the Army Corps of Engineers conducts an extensive environmental review.

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EcoWatch is a community of experts publishing quality, science-based content on environmental issues, causes, and solutions for a healthier planet and life.
Sections of the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline are seen on the construction site on the White Earth Nation Reservation near Wauburn, Minnesota, on June 5, 2021. KEREM YUCEL / AFP via Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

Indigenous and environmental activists fighting against the Line 3 tar sands pipeline were outraged Thursday after the Biden administration filed a legal brief backing the federal government's 2020 approval of the project under former President Donald Trump.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
A member of the White House cleaning staff sanitizes the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room on Oct. 5, 2020 in Washington, DC. Donald Trump, several members of his staff, and three members of the press corps have recently tested positive for coronavirus. Win McNamee / Getty Images

Both Facebook and Twitter acted Tuesday to flag a post by President Donald Trump in which he once again downplayed the new coronavirus by comparing it to the seasonal flu.

Read More Show Less
Frederic Stevens/ Getty Images News / Getty Images

For nearly as long as solar panels have been gracing rooftops and barren land, creative people have been searching out additional surfaces that can be tiled with energy-generating photovoltaic (PV) panels. The idea has been pretty straightforward: if solar panels generate energy simply by facing the sun, then humans could collectively reduce our reliance on coal, oil, gas and other polluting fuels by maximizing our aggregate solar surface area.

So, what kind of unobstructed surfaces are built in every community and in between every major city across the globe? Highways and streets. With this in mind, the futuristic vision of laying thousands, or even millions, of solar panels on top of the asphalt of interstates and main streets was born.

While the concept art looked like a still from a sci-fi film, many inventors, businesses and investors saw these panels as a golden path toward clean energy and profit. Ultimately, though, the technology and economics ended up letting down those working behind each solar roadway project — from initial concepts in the early 2000s to the first solar roadway actually opened in France in 2016, they all flopped.

In the years since the concept of solar roadways went viral, solar PV has continued to improve in technology and drop in price. So, with a 2021 lens, is it time to re-run the numbers and see if a solar roadway could potentially deliver on that early promise? We dig in to find out.

Read More Show Less
A young gray wolf in Wisconsin. Lynn_Bystrom / iStock / Getty Images Plus
A new study found that as many as a third of Wisconsin's gray wolves died from human hunting and the loss of federal protections under the Endangered Species Act.
Read More Show Less
Trending
Flowers grow in front of unused pipe intended for the Keystone XL pipeline outside Gascoyne, North Dakota in 2014. Andrew Burton / Getty Images

The Keystone XL pipeline is officially canceled.

Read More Show Less
Trump exits from the stage after speaking at the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse on Sept. 8, 2020 in Jupiter, Florida. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

President Trump told a crowd in Jupiter, Florida Tuesday that he is an environmental president, claiming that "it's true: number one since Teddy Roosevelt. Who would have thought Trump is the great environmentalist?" according to the White House transcript of the speech. He added, "And I am. I am. I believe strongly in it."

Read More Show Less
Trump departs from a Senate Republicans luncheon on Capitol Hill on March 10, 2020. Caroline Brehman / CQ-Roll Call, Inc. via Getty Images

President Trump admitted to downplaying the risk of the coronavirus after tapes were released of him acknowledging the dangers to journalist Bob Woodward. The tapes from February and March for Woodward's new book "Rage" show that the president's private conversations stood in stark contrast to what he was telling the public, as The New York Times reported.

Read More Show Less
Dr. Anthony Fauci receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the National Institutes of Health on Dec. 22, 2020, in Bethesda, Maryland. PATRICK SEMANSKY / POOL / AFP via Getty Images

By Brett Wilkins

The United States will most likely experience a "post-seasonal" spike in coronavirus infections largely due to holiday travel and gatherings, current and former U.S. health officials said on Sunday.

Read More Show Less
Trending