France has a road that is made of solar panels. This road is in a Normandy village. Although the idea of laying solar panels on highways and streets isn’t a new, perhaps it’s the first time it has been implemented. The road, according to this Guardian post, will be used by approximately 2000 vehicles every day during the two-year test run.
The electricity-generating solar panels have been installed on a 1-kilometer long road covering an area of 2800 square meters. The cost of building this solar panels-laden road has been € 5 million and during the two years of trial run, it is expected to generate enough energy to power streetlights in a village of 3400 residents.
There has been some expected opposition because the detractors say that laying solar panels on the roads isn’t a very efficient way of generating solar power.
Back in 2014 a cycle path covered with electricity-generating solar panels was laid in the Netherlands and so far it has generated 3000 kWh of energy. With the money that was used to build the solar power generating cycle path, 520,000 kW worth of energy could have been purchased.
Ultimately the success of such projects depends on how much they cost and how much electricity they actually produce. It has been observed that solar panels can produce more power if they are installed on slopes instead of flat services. This is why in the pics of solar farms you see solar panels standing in an inclined position and not straight. This is because an inclined surface can cover the arced part of the Sun for a longer time.
But then, every new technology has teething problems and opponents are always there to point out problems. Even if the costs are higher and the results are fewer, this is just the beginning. Millions of miles of roads are scattered around the world. If these open spaces can be used for generating solar power, even wind power, just imagine how much renewable energy can be generated just from the roads.