first road paved with solar panels powers french town
France opened the world\'s first \"solar road\" Thursday, paved with solar panels, to provide enough energy for the street lights of the Tulouvre, a small Normandy town. The one-kilometre (half-mile)
\"Wattway\" covers 2800 square meters（
30,000 square feet)of resin-
Segolene Royal, the Minister of environmental protection, observed that the coated solar panels were connected to the local grid.
\"This new solar energy takes advantage of a large number of road infrastructure already in use. . .
\"Generating electricity without occupying new real estate,\" Royal said in a statement.
The minister announced-
In the year of the National Deployment Plan for Solar Highway, preliminary projects were carried out in the west of Brittany and the south of Marseilles.
On average, 2,000 cars drive on the roads of the Toulouvre every day to test the resistance of the French civil engineering company Colas (a subsidiary of the construction giant Bouygues) to the panels it is carrying out for the project.
The idea is also being explored in Germany, the Netherlands and the United States, where only 20% of the time on the road is occupied by cars, providing a broad surface for absorbing sunlight.
In theory, only a quarter of the millions of kilometres of roads in France can be energy-independent, Colas said.
Skeptics are waiting to see whether these panels can withstand the damage of time and weather, and how they will be hit by heavy trucks.
Solar panels mounted on 70-
TNO, the project\'s owner, said a one-meter-long bicycle lane in northern Amsterdam suffered some damage last winter, but the problem has been solved.
Waterway Project with State Subsidies of 5 million Euros（dollars)
Starting at four pilot sites, in front of parking lots or public buildings across France, on smaller surfaces between 50 and 100 square metres.
One disadvantage of the system is that when the solar panels are facing the sun, they are usually more effective on sloping roofs than on flat roofs.
The cost problem is far from being solved. Each kilowatt-peak --
Solar Energy Metering Unit--
Wattway currently costs 17 euros to generate electricity, compared with 1 euro.
Euro 30 for roof installation.
However, according to SER, the French Renewable Energy Association, Colas hopes to make costs competitive by 2020 and points out that solar production costs fell by 60% between 2009 and 2015.