|10 November 2016|

France

After five years of research France is putting down the world’s first photovoltaic ‘solar road’ surface.

Transport infrastructure giant Colas and the French National Institute for Solar Energy (INES) joined forces to produce Wattway, a patented ‘innovation that harvests solar energy on the road surface to produce electricity’.

Constructed to cope with all sizes of vehicles an initial one kilometre section fitted with 2,800 m² of Wattway photovoltaic panels will be completed by December as part of a pilot project in the town of Tourourve in Normandy. This would be capable of powering public lighting in a city of 5000 people, according to the French Environment and Energy Management Agency.

This is just the first of a number of pilot sites planned as part of the French Ministry of the Environment, Energy and the Sea’s energy transition policy, which eventually aims to have 1000km of solar roads in France with the capacity to provide energy to millions of its citizens.