France has inaugurated the world’s first solar panel road in a village called Normandy, and has officially opened it for general public.
The route is sprawled across 1km (0.6-mile) in the suburban village of Tourouvre-au-Perche and is covered with 2,800 sqm of electricity-generating panels. The road is entirely based on the solar panel structure with a total construction cost of €5m (£4.2m).
As per the statistics, the route will be used by almost 2,000 motorists during a test span of two years. After the prototype phase is over, it will be gauged if the structure is capable of generating enough energy to light the streets of a village of nearly 3,400 residents.
Normandy is known for the surplus sunshine, throughout the year. This is why this initiative has been taken to utilize solar power in generating electricity for the public use.
French Minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy Segolene Royal inaugurated the very first ride of the solar panel road. Royal stated that she would like to see solar panels installed on “one in every 1,000km of French highway – France has a total of 1m km of roads – but panels laid on flat surfaces have been found to be less efficient than those installed on sloping areas such as roofs”.