The Normandy town of Tourouvre has opened the world’s first solar roadway, bringing the hugely popular idea into reality.
The notion of paving roadways with solar panels to meet our energy needs is very appealing, but for the longest time it has remained largely a theoretical one.
The newly launched French roadway is just one kilometre long but that works out to be 2800 square metres of photovoltaic cells – enough, theoretically, to power the village’s street lights.
The resin-coated solar panels were hooked up to the local power grid just in time for Christmas as France’s Environment Minister Segolene Royal looked on last week.
“This new use of solar energy takes advantage of large swathes of road infrastructure already in use … to produce electricity without taking up new real estate,”
Solar Roadways – YouTube
One day such technology could revolutionise roadways, energy infrastructure and even how cars work and interact with the road.