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World's First solar road

The World's first solar road is a project seeking new sustainable sources of energy, located in a Normandy Village, in France.

The French government is sponsoring the experiment to turn highways into power stations seeking new sustainable ways to generate electricity.

Environmentalist minister, Ségolène Royal launched the first ever solar road in the village of Tourouvre, Normandy. It is one-kilometre long, consisting of 2,800 square meters of resin-coated solar panels connected to the local power grid, providing enough electricity to power local street lighting. 

The difficulty of the project was finding the right material to carry the weight of lorries that regularly drive along this route. In addition the effectiveness of solar panels lying on a flat surface instead of being angled towards the sun. And moreover the effect of weather conditions on the panels, as well as the beating they will receive from the trucks. 

The cost of this project was a €5 million state subsidy, which is very high for the amount of energy produced. However, it takes advantage of large areas or road infrastructure by adding another use to it, producing electricity. Moreover, as more roads are developed the costs will shift downwards. 

It took six years for this project to be completed. According to Royal, a four-year plan is made for similar projects in areas such as western Brittany and southern Marseille.







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