The World is gradually responding to the move for clean energy. Solar energy is seen by energy experts as a preferred alternative energy source for industries, households, etc. Green House activists around the world are championing this cause to ensure that our World is safe from tonnes of toxic substances released in the atmosphere by big manufacturing corporations across the Globe. A small village, Normandy in France is the first to implement the Solar Panelled Road technology.
These Solar Panels have been installed on a 1km (0.6-mile) route in Tourouvre-au-Perche ,a small village in Normandy. The stretch is covered with 2,800 sqm of Solar panels. The project was commissioned by the Minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy Segolene Royal.
The Minister said she would like to see solar panels installed on one in every 1,000km of French highway – France has a total of 1m km of roads – but panels laid on flat surfaces have been found to be less efficient than those installed on sloping areas such as roofs.
The project is estimated to cost €5m and will be used by about 2,000 motorists a day during a two-year test period to know if the installed Solar panels can generate enough electricity to power the street lighting in the village of 3,400 residents.
Royal has said she would like to see solar panels installed on one in every 1,000km of French highway. France has a total of 1 million kilometers of road.
This project dubbed Wattway is a patented French innovation undertaken by Colas, a world leader in transport infrastructure, and the INES (French National Institute for Solar Energy). They are the lead constructors of this project.
By combining road construction and photovoltaic techniques, Wattway pavement provides clean, renewable energy in the form of electricity, while allowing for all types of traffic.
The entire project been criticized by Marc Jedliczka, vice-president of Network for Energetic Transition (CLER) as expensive and that the panel might not be able to withstand the pressures from vehicular traffic.
Colas the in their defence stated that
the panels have been covered with a resin containing fine sheets of silicon, making them tough enough to withstand all traffic, including HGVs.