Over the next five years, approximately 1,000 km of roads in France will be paved with solar panels in a project sanctioned by France’s Agency of Environment and Energy Management.
The project will use the solar pavement technology created by Colas and France’s National Institute for Solar Energy which involves the solar panels being glued onto the existing pavement.
The panels themselves, dubbed Wattway panels, are just 7 mm thick and have been designed to offer similar levels of tyre grip to ordinary paved road surfaces.
Additionally, the panels can withstand the weight of regular traffic and heavy trucks and are so efficient that just one 4 metres of panels can provide a household with all its electricity needs, excluding heating. Theoretically, this means up to 5 million people in France could rely solely on the solar roads for their electricity.
Final tests are scheduled to commence in spring before the roll-out begins.