Solar road in France is a failure

FRANCE-POLITICS-ENVIRONMENT-ENERGY-TRANSPORT-CONSTRUCTION

Solar road in France is a failure

It’s called the Wattaway. A 1 km long road which is covered in 2800 solar panels. It’s located in Normandy village of Tourouvre-au-Perche in the north part of the country. Despite early hopes that the project could contribute to a greener environment, the 5 million $ project has become a failure.

Colas the civil engineering firm that built it ensured that the road is durable enough to withstand large trucks. But even the large farm tractors has become a great challenge. The roads protective layer of silicon is breaking up.

Another issue is that the road failed to generate the amount of electricity it was intended to produce. Initially the reports show that the intended amount of electricity generated is 150000 KWh a year. But the actual generated amount is 80000 KWh.  Normandy does not have an all year sunny climate. Even when it’s sunny leaves and passing vehicles block the sunlight. And the worst thing is that the solar panels are laid flat on the road rather than pointing the sun.

Additionally the road makes a very nasty noise when the vehicles are passing by. Some villagers even complained about these high noise levels. This prompted the officials to impose a speed limit to provide villagers some peace and quiet.

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