France on 22nd
Dec 2016 inaugurated the world’s first solar highway.
This road is paved with solar panels providing enough energy to power street lights of Normandy’s Tourouvre.
This is one kilometre or half mile Wattway covering 2,800 square meters or 30,000 square feet of resin coated solar panels hooked up to the local power grid.
The use of solar energy takes advantage of large swathes of road infrastructure in use to produce electricity without taking up a new real estate.
Minister also announced a 4 year plan for the national deployment of solar highways with initial projects in western Brittany and southern Marseille.
An average of 2,000 carouse this road each day, resting the resistance of the panels constructed by French civil engineering major Colas, a subsidiary of Bouygues.
This idea is being explored in the United States, the Netherlands and Germany.
The roadways are occupied by cars only around 20 percent of the time, providing vast expanses of surface to soak up sun’s rays.
In theory, France could become energy independent by paving only a quarter of its million kilometres of roads with solar panels.
Wattway project received a state subsidy of 5 million euros.
A drawback of the system is that solar panels are the most effective when angled than when they are laid flat.
Each Kilowatt peak, the unit of measure for solar energy, generated by Wattway currently costs 17 euros compared with 1.30 euros for major rooftop installation.
By 2020, the cost competitiveness of this project will be improved.
Cost of producing solar energy decreased by 60 percent between 2009 and 2015, according to French renewable energy association SER. France: Know More
- Location: Western Europe
- Capital: Paris
- President: Francois Hollande
- Prime Minister: Bernard Cazeneuve
- Currencies: Euro, CFP franc.