France just opened the world’s first solar panel road, in Normandy

The revolutionary solar panel road will be in a test phase to evaluate whether it can provide enough energy to power street lighting.


The Guardian reports that a 1km (0.6-mile) route in the small village of Tourouvre-au-Perche in northern France, covered with 2,800 sq m of electricity-generating panels, was just inaugurated by the ecology minister, Ségolène Royal.

One lane of the road is covered entirely in a patchwork of the small solar cells that look rather like bathroom tiles, or a very dirty version of the road in the Wizard of Oz.

It’s now called the solar panel road.

Financed entirely by the French state, the project has been welcomed with much criticism as an ineffective use of public money. The critics say laying solar panels on flat surfaces have been found to be less efficient than panels installed on sloping areas, such as roofs.

YOUR BRAND. DELIVERED.

We assist in presenting your idea, service or product to the market.

We complement your marketing team – from conceiving the idea to creating the story to fueling the conversation around your brand.
SEE HOW THIS BENEFITS YOU

Although this is a huge step for solar, still, the economics hardly add up. A recent Forbes article said the math indicates that rooftop panels are much cheaper and more effective at this stage, costing 13 times less than Wattway cells per kilowatt-peak.

The good thing about this project, whether you are in favor or not, is that this real-world testing of solar roads will help inform future projects such as this.

The French government plans to build 1000km of solar panel roads in the next five years.

More Stories From Around the Web:



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What to Read Next:

Saskatoon Light and Power proposes $3.5 million solar power plant

In a fit to build up its solar power capacity, Saskatoon Light & Power is looking to add clean energy...

Mandatory state policies work best to curb power plant emissions, study finds

Nature Climate Change published the analysis, which shows that policies with mandatory compliance are associated with the largest reductions in...

FortWhyte Alive launches Winnipeg’s largest solar facility

FortWhyte Alive is now home to Winnipeg’s largest solar power plant. The 60kW solar farm, installed on a 640-acre nature...

Sono Motors unveils its solar-powered car

After a successful crowdfunding, SONO MOTORS has finally revealed what could be the very first solar-powered electric car to hit...

India’s solar ambitions face the risk of a bubble

The recent auction to build the 500-megawatt Bhadla solar park in Rajasthan was one of the lowest prices for solar...