There is a study underway about generating electricity by the Energy Commission in California. The Commission plans to team up with either a university or business which will take care of field tests on the project. The study is meant to determine whether electricity can be obtained from the mechanical energy produced by moving vehicles on roads. The experiment involves small compressed crystals of piezoelectric installed under asphalt to create energy. Although similar projects in other countries have been terminated, the commission is determined to try and has set aside $2 million to invest in the same. The commission’s chief of energy research and development, Mike Gravely who believes in the project, hopes that California will meet its 2030 goal of producing 50% of the state’s electricity by using renewables and energy from the cars on roads. The question people should ask is whether this technology will justify investment opportunities as compared to other renewables. Even the project comes with risks, Mike Gravely believes in trying, and it doesn’t mean it will fail because others have failed.
Even if the scientists guarantee that the technology works, there are possible setbacks that cannot be ignored. An engineering lecturer at the University of Washington doubts the ability of the technology to withstand wear and tear of traffic. His argument is based on the need to resurface the highways after every ten to thirty years. Another setback is the fact that similar projects have been tried in other countries like Tokyo, Italy, and Israel and have failed or terminated before completion and led to their liquidation. To prevent making the same mistake in California, Mike Gatto, and California Assemblyman requested for some funds from the energy commission to finance pilot projects. He also believes that the failed projects were terminated for not investing enough funds in them. If the study goes through, it will not be a wonder to hear other cities with high traffic going for the project.