France has World’s First Solar Panel Road

The world’s first solar road made with 30,000 sq. ft. of solar panels has been opened in the French village Tourouvre-au-Perche in Normandy by French Ecology Minister Ségolène Royal. The 1 km (0.6-mile) road called ‘Wattway‘ took 5 years and cost $5.2 million to develop. They’re coated with a clear silicon resin that enables them to withstand the impact of passing traffic.

It cost €5m (£4.2m) to construct and will be used by about 2,000 motorists a day during a two-year test period to check if it can generate enough energy to power street lighting in the village of 3,400 residents. France may install them along another 1,000 kilometers of its roads out of total of 1 million kilometres (621,000 miles) of roads in France in the nest 5 years.

It’s not a new idea however. A similar project in the Amsterdam, The Netherlands opened back in 2014, but on a cycle path instead of a regular road.

 

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French Minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy Segolene Royal walks on a solar panel road during its inauguration in Tourouvre, Normandy, northwestern France. The world's first solar road was inaugurated on Thursday in Normandy, a technology the minister hopes will develop in France and abroad despite criticism of its high cost and profitability. / AFP / CHARLY TRIBALLEAU (Photo credit should read CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP/Getty Images)

 

 

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