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France Installs World’s First Solar Road

PARIS, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) — France installed the world’s first solar road in Normandy in north France, which aims to provide power to the local streetlights and encourage renewable energy use needed to combat climate change.

At an inauguration ceremony on Thursday, French Ecology Minister Segolene Royal opened the one-kilometer-solar power road in Tourouvre-au-Perche village, the first if its kind in the world.

“The solar road is the success of energy transition. Climate combat will be easier via technological leaps and strong innovation and France is at the forefront of this innovation,” Royale said.

“The first solar road over the globe makes it possible to imagine, in the near future, a new functionality of French road network in the service of the energy transition for green growth,” the French minister added.

The solar road, called Wattway, consists of 2,800 square meters of photovoltaic panels which transform solar energy into electricity.

Hooked up to local power grid, the route may generate enough energy to power stree lighting of a village with about 5,000 residents.

The French government said it was planning to pave 1,000 kilometers of road with solar panels in five years.

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