Day 7 of #100daysofsolarnuggets
FRANCE UNVEILS THE WORLD’S FIRST SOLAR ROAD
Alright today we are doing something a little bit different, we would be looking at interesting happenings in the world regarding renewable energy.
Sometime last year in December, France accomplished a historic feat, by building the world’s supposedly first solar road, in the village of Tourouvre au Perche , this is a small french village located north west of France.The road is just one kilometer (0.6mi) long and it is just one lane out of the two lanes that has the solar fittings, but that still works out at 2,800 square meters of photovoltaic cells, which they hope to be sufficient enough to power the village's street lights.
The Road is being called “Wattway” and is expected to produce 280 MWh of electricity a year. That being said, the project cost an estimated $5.2million. The panels are covered in a silicon-based resin that allows them to withstand the weight of passing cars, trucks and the likes, If the road performs as expected, more of it's kind are expected to be done..
Colas, the company that installed the road, hopes to reduce the cost of the panels going forward, they believe that the costs will go down as the technology becomes more widespread.
Right now the road is on a two-year trial period to see if it can withstand the pressure and effects of vehicles moving on it.
Personally I view this as a unique engineering feat and an amazing application of solar Energy, Yes it is capital intensive and it is a lot cheaper to install Solar panels on rooftops,yet I believe it is a welcome development, with time and with more research I do believe that this technology would become a lot cheaper. Going forward I believe more ingenious applications of solar such as these should be encouraged, this way ,we create an enabling environment for solar to thrive and in the nearest future we could have passenger planes completely powered by Solar.