According to France’s Agency of Environment and Energy Management, 4m of solarised road is enough to supply one household’s electricity needs, apart from heating, and one kilometre will light a settlement with 5,000 inhabitants.
The solarising of France’s roads involves glueing 7mm-thick strips to the surface of the carriageway. The basic technology for this has already been developed by Bouygues subsidiary Colas.
The company’s Wattway panels which took five years to develop, were unveiled in October.
Wattway cells collect solar energy using a thin film of polycrystalline silicon, but are resistant to the passage of heavy goods vehicles and offer sufficient traction to prevent skids.