Energy Department Will Provide $145 Million for Advanced Solar Energy Projects, Department of Energy (Sept. 1, 2011). The Department of Energy has awarded $145 million to 69 advanced solar energy technology projects in 24 states to accelerate research and development, lower costs, and advance cutting-edge technologies. The projects granted awards are designed to improve the production of photovoltaics by improving materials, manufacturing processes, and supply chains. The awards are granted as part of the department’s SunShot initiative.
Solar Highway Breaks Ground Near Portland, Oregon, Oregon Department of Transportation (Aug. 23, 2011). Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez was present at the groundbreaking for the installation of solar panels to supply power to a rest area along Interstate 5, located 14 miles south of Portland near Wilsonville, Ore. The project is a component of ODOT’s Oregon Solar Highway, a public-private partnership to install solar panels on highway rights-of-way in the state. The Baldock Solar Highway project will include a 1.75 megawatt solar array that will generate an expected 1.9 million kilowatt hours of electricity to power both the northbound and southbound facilities at the Baldock Safety Rest Area. The array will cover seven acres of ODOT-owned land adjacent to the rest area and is expected to be operational in January 2012.
Guidance for Construction GHG Emission Reductions, Sacramento Air Quality Management District (2009). This is a 2-page summary of best management practices for reducing GHG from construction projects.
Estimation of Energy Consumption and Carbon Dioxide Emissions During Construction, Maintenance, and Operation of Roads. Swedish National Road and Transportation Research Institute (2009). This report estimates the energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions per kilometer on four types of roadways over a 60-year period. The report is in Swedish with an English summary.
Solar Roadway Project Prototype (Video). The Solar Roadway project was developed by Scott and Julie Brusaw, and a prototype was funded in 2009 by the Federal Highway Administration. The concept is to develop a series of structurally-engineered solar panels that are driven upon and to replace all current petroleum-based asphalt roads, parking lots, and driveways with Solar Road Panels that collect energy to be used by homes and businesses. The ultimate goal is to be able to store excess energy in or alongside the Solar Roadways. The roadway also would be an intelligent highway with embedded LED lights that could be used for traffic management, warning systems for crosswalks and wildlife crossings, and heating elements for cold climates. For more information, link to the Prototype Video, and to the Solar Roadway website Home page and Introduction page.
Environmental Life-cycle Assessment of Passenger Transportation in the United States: A Detailed Methodology for Energy, Greenhouse Gas, and Criteria Pollutant Inventories of Automobiles, Buses, Light Rail, Heavy Rail, and Air, Mikhail Chester and Arpad Horvath, University of California, Berkeley (March 2008). This project used detailed life-cycle assessment models to estimate energy, GHG, and criteria pollutants from passenger transportation modes in the United States, for the entire life cycle of vehicles, infrastructure, and fuels. It found that, compared to GHG from operations, life-cycle GHG are 1.6X for autos, 2.6X for light rail, 2.1X for heavy rail, 1.4X for buses, and 1.3X for air.
Washington State DOT Begins Test of Adaptive LED System, Washington State Department of Transportation (Feb. 22, 2013). WSDOT plans to begin installing its first adaptive light-emitting-diode lighting (LED) systems, which will replace conventional highway light fixtures with LED fixtures, along a stretch of US 101 near Olympia. The adaptive LED system to be installed, part of a pilot project to test such systems for their cost savings potential and overall effectiveness, will allow operators to remotely control when the lights are turned on and off.
Municipal Solid-State Street Lighting Consortium, U.S. Department of Energy. DOE’s Building Technologies Program supports efforts by this consortium of cities, utilities, and energy efficiency organizations to share technical data and experience related to LED street and area lighting demonstrations. The consortium has developed a Retrofit Financial Analysis Tool designed to help participants analyze the cost and return-on-investment of LED lighting projects, including savings in energy costs, maintenance, and greenhouse gas emissions.
Energy Use Generated by Traffic and Pavement Maintenance: Decision Support for Optimization of Low Rolling Resistance Maintenance Treatments, Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (Nov. 9, 2012). This report examines the benefits of considering the total energy used in transportation when managing the road network. The report is based on a study conducted under the MIRIAM (Models for Rolling Resistance in Road Infrastructure Asset Management Systems) project, which aims to develop a sustainable road infrastructure by improving control over road transport carbon dioxide emissions. The Swedish report provides analysis of how road maintenance can reduce traffic energy use by lowering the rolling resistance of pavement surfaces. The report includes two case studies of roads where traffic volume and maintenance practices were evaluated in regard to longitudinal roughness, macro texture, and rutting. Both case studies are of roads in southern Sweden.
High-Performance Single and Polycrystal-Based Pyroelectric Smart Materials for Energy Harvesting from Pavements, Sudip Bhattacharjee, Ashok K. Batra, Sima Meseret, and Jacob Cain (2011). This article discusses the use of pyroelectric materials and other materials to capture heat and vibrations from pavements and convert them to electricity. The findings suggest that the use of such materials at known pavement conditions could make energy harvesting from pavements attractive and feasible. The electricity could be used to power roadway sensors and other low-power devices. The article is published in the TRB Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2252 Energy and Global Climate Change 2011.
Metropolitan Transportation Commission Issues 2011 Pothole Report, (June 2011). This report describes the condition of pavement on city and county roads in the San Francisco Bay Area. The report includes a ranking by jurisdiction of the pavement condition index of each of the area’s nine counties and 101 cities and compares it to the baseline established in 2000. The report also discusses new developments in pavement replacement methods and preservation practices.
Concrete Is Remixed With Environment in Mind, New York Times (March 30, 2009). This article summarizes developments in reducing CO2 from cement, citing the I-35W replacement bridge in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
New low-carbon cement may slash emissions, Forbes, April 21, 2009. This news article reports on a new variety of cement that could sharply reduce CO2 emissions associated with cement. Currently, the cement sector accounts for 5 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions, more than the aviation industry. A British firm claims to be developing a cement replacement that cuts CO2 by as much as 75% per tonne.
Testimony to the House Transportation Infrastructure Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation on The Role of Research in Addressing Climate Change in Transportation Infrastructure, Mike Acott, National Asphalt Pavement Association (Hearing held March 31, 2009). This testimony identifies four technologies that have the potential to be transformational in the field of sustainable pavements: warm-mix asphalt, reuse/recycling, Perpetual Pavements, and porous asphalt.
Concrete and Climate Change: How Does Concrete Stack Up Against Other Building Materials?, Lionel LeMay, National Ready-Mixed Concrete Association: This article describes CO2 emissions associated with concrete and other materials, and compares GHG emissions associated with driving on concrete and asphalt highways.
Transportation Research Record Journal No. 2292: Maintenance and Preservation 2012, Transportation Research Board (December 2012). This journal is a compilation of 20 research papers on roadway maintenance and preservation-related topics. Topics covered include carbon emissions of road maintenance, maintenance costs of extreme weather events, climate impact on asphalt pavement preservation.
Transportation Research Circular E-C162: Winter Maintenance and Surface Transportation Weather, Transportation Research Board (May 8, 2012). This document includes a collection of papers presented at the International Conference on Winter Maintenance and Surface Transportation Weather held April 30-May 3, 2012. The papers address issues including environmental stewardship and sustainability, decision support systems, climate trends, winter maintenance policy and management, and others.
'Green-Friendly' Best Management Practices for Interstate Rest Areas, Illinois Center for Transportation (June 29, 2011). This document includes research findings on sustainability best management practices for Illinois interstate rest areas. The document describes the methods used for researching the current state of Illinois' rest areas and current research and development on green-friendly practices for construction and maintenance. The document also describes the recommended best practices for upgrading the rest areas and methods by which upgrade decisions could be made.
Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Measures for Transportation Construction, Maintenance, and Operation Activities, NCHRP Project 25-25, Task 58 (August 2010). Strategies that state departments of transportation can use to mitigate carbon dioxide emissions from construction, maintenance, and operations activities are examined in this report produced under the National Cooperative Highway Research Program. The project also developed a spreadsheet-based tool for estimating CO2 emissions from these activities, the Greenhouse Gas Calculator for State Departments of Transportation (GreenDOT). The new tool is designed to calculate CO2 emissions for geographical areas ranging from a single project to an entire state, and over time periods from a single day to several years. GreenDOT also calculates emissions in four separate modules according to different types of state DOT activities: electricity used in roadways, on-road vehicle fleets, off-road equipment, and materials used in roadway construction. An auxiliary calculator included in the tool estimates impacts from traffic management strategies based on changes in average vehicle speeds.