This Solar Road Will Provide Power For 5 Million People

Written by on February 2, 2016 in Eco-Friendly, Environment with 25 Comments

solar road

By Lorraine Chow | Eco Watch

The French government plans to pave 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) of its roads with solar panels in the next five years, which will supply power to millions of people.

Related Article: Revolutionary Technology that Could Save the Energy Crisis: Solar Roadways

“The maximum effect of the program, if successful, could be to furnish 5 million people with electricity, or about 8 percent of the French population,” Ségolène Royal, France’s minister of ecology and energy, said according to Global Construction Review.

France’s Agency of Environment and Energy Management said that 4 meters (14 feet) of solarized road would be enough to supply the electrical needs of one household, excluding heat. One kilometer (0.62 miles) will supply enough electricity for 5,000 residents.

The project is the result of five years of research between French road construction company Colas and the French National Institute of Solar Energy.

The project, “Wattway,” was introduced last October. The technology consists of extremely thin (7 millimeters) yet durable panels of polycrystalline silicon that can transform solar energy into electricity. The panels are also said to be 15 centimeters wide and heavy-duty skid resistant to reduce auto accidents.

Related Article: That Dutch Solar-Panel Bike Lane Really Works

“These extremely fragile photovoltaic cells are coated in a multilayer substrate composed of resins and polymers, translucent enough to allow sunlight to pass through, and resistant enough to withstand truck traffic,” Colas said in a press release.

The panels are rainproof and have passed snowplow tests “with flying colors,” according to the Wattway FAQ page. The company also boasts that their panels can last as long as conventional pavement, or 10 years depending on the traffic. Wattway panels can last roughly 20 years if the section is not heavily trafficked, such as stadium parking lot.

In terms of efficiency, Wattway said its panels have a 15 percent yield, compared to 18-19 percent for conventional photovoltaic panels.

Related Article: This Couple Is Making Roads Out Of Solar Panels, And They Actually Work

The solar roads concept isn’t new. SolaRoad, the world’s first “solar road,” has been in operation in the Netherlands since November 2014, but it’s already generating more power than expected. EcoWatch has also featured a similar Idaho-based project, Solar Roadways, whose Indiegogo campaign became extremely successful when their video went viral last year.


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25 Reader Comments

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  1.' Alyssa Nicole says:

    US 2

  2.' Sarah Fetterman says:

    US 2

  3.' Adam Fischer says:

    US 2

  4.' Margo Mills says:

    US 2

  5.' Betty Klein says:

    US 2

  6.' Conscious Life News says:

    US 2 — pleeejeeeeeeze! 🙂

  7.' Chris Thudium says:

    US 2

  8.' Tatyjana Buldakova says:

    with the same bill

  9.' Sarah Fetterman says:

    We should follow France on alot of other things, too. They seem to work together as a country, not to tear one another down. I wonder what that’s like…..

  10.' Karen Keesecker says:

    US 2

  11.' Patricia Plank says:

    Does it work and at what cost

  12.' Enid Lareg says:

    Us too

  13.' Susan Popovich says:

    US 2

  14.' Ellen Marche says:

    US 2

  15.' Carmen Michele Cannello says:

    US 2 pleeeeeeeeeease!

  16.' Linda Hand says:

    Yes I. Di

  17.' Linda Hand says:

    Yes. I do. Sorrry

  18.' Maureen O Krupa says:

    US 2. smart thinking!!

  19.' Lorna Ashbourne says:


  20.' William Blanc says:

    Do you think that if we embrace this method in the USA that our government will make a law stating that the solar power that falls on our solar collectors belongs to someone else, as they do with our…I mean someone else’s rain water?

  21.' Donna Rahman says:


  22.' Mona Kandeler says:


  23.' Damore West says:

    No good, with our heavy ass trucks, salt from melting snow, and the stupid ones of our society who would just try to rip it up

  24.' Migali Faylon says:

    US 2

  25.' Cheryl Bryson says:

    Us 2

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