Last August, we wrote about roads that could have the ability to charge electric vehicles while they drove. Now, France is taking it to the next level with a new undertaking of solar powering homes using the surface area of roads.
France is clearly taking no rest after the green energy summit as they announced this large undertaking right on its heels in the new year. This new project will be to install 1000 kilometers of solar panels on top of existing roads in order to provide power to the homes of France.
These new panels are being co-developed by the French infrastructure firm Colas and the National Institute for Solar Energy and are called Wattway panels. These photo voltaic solar panels are not only sturdy enough to withstand the weight of large trucks, but also offers a solid grip surface for vehicle tires, which was initially an accident concern.
If completed, the road itself would generate enough power for 5 million people. The biggest benefit to this project, beyond the generator of solar energy, is that the panels can be placed on top of the existing roads rather than having to tear up the old road, decreasing cost of implementation.
This project is not without skeptics who have shot down this idea in the past in various other places. The French government has decided to ignore this and is planning to proceed with the project. A similar proof on concept has already proven to be effective last year when the Dutch created a similar road that was only 100 meters.
If proven to work effectively, think how much solar power could be generated on the I-10 alone!