Solar parking lots sound like a great idea. Why aren’t they catching on?


Of the total surface area in a typical city, 35 to 50 percent is pavement, according to research conducted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Of the total pavement, about 50 percent is parking lots and 40 percent is exposed parking lots.

Researcher Haley Gilbert at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory said that these percentages result in an environmentally damaging cycle of heat energy.

“It’s amazing how hot these pavements get and how we’ve let them cover most of our urban surfaces, because dark pavements absorb almost all of the sun’s energy, the pavement surface heats up, which in turn also warms the local air and aggravates urban heat islands.”

But there is a solution: covering parking lots with solar panel roofs. Such technology would reflect heat from the sun and use the sun’s energy to power buildings and electric cars. Therefore the pavement would absorb less heat, causing the air to cool down. READ MORE.