The village of Tourouvre-au-Perche in Normandy, France, is the first town in the world with solar panel streets.
The 1 kilometre (0.6 mile) route, covered by 2,800 square metres of electricity-generating panels, was declared open on Thursday by the country’s ecology minister, Ségolène Royal.
The panels have been covered with a protective resin that consists of fine sheets of silicon to help withstand the 2,000 motorists which use the road, while ensuring there is good grip between tyres and the roadway.
If the trial proves successful, Royal wants to see the panels installed in one out of every 1,000 kilometres (621 miles) of road in the country.
France currently has a total of 1 million kilometres (621,000 miles) of road.
The stretch of road cost 5 million Euros (US$5.2 million) to build, leaving some experts questioning the project’s value.
“It’s without doubt a technical advance, but in order to develop renewables there are other priorities than a gadget of which we are more certain that it’s very expensive than the fact it works,” Marc Jedliczka, vice-president of Network for Energetic Transition (CLER), told Le Monde.
Colas, the road’s manufacturer, is hoping to reduce the cost of production of the panels.
Will wait and see the future of these futuristic roads which will solve the world’s energy crisis.