The world’s first solar panel road has been inaugurated in a Normandy village in France.
A One kilometre route in the small village of Tourouvre-au-Perche covered with 2,800 square metres of electricity-generating panels was inaugurated on Thursday.
According to the Ecology minister, Ségolène Royal, who commissioned the road, it cost more than four million pounds to construct.
Royal explained that the road will be used by about 2,000 motorists a day during a two-year test period to establish if it can generate enough energy to power street lighting in the village of 3,400 residents.
The Minister said that the panels were tested at four car parks across France, before the solar-powered road was opened on the RD5 road.
The road, which was named Wattway was constructed by Colas, part of giant telecoms group Bouygues, and financed by the state.
Colas said the panels have been covered with a resin containing fine sheets of silicon, making them tough enough to withstand all traffic, including heavy goods vehicles.
In 2014, a solar-powered cycle path opened in Krommenie in the Netherlands has generated 3,000kWh of energy, which is enough to power an average family home for a year.
However, critics have said that the solar-road is not a cost-effective use of public money.
Marc Jedliczka, who is the Vice-president of Network for Energetic Transition said, “It’s without doubt a technical advance, but in order to develop renewables there are other priorities than a gadget of which we are more certain that it’s very expensive than the fact it works.”
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