France has taken a big step in its journey towards renewable energy. The plan is to make use of a large flat area for a 1000 km of solar panels. What's special about this? Well the 1000 km are on the road network. Following a five year research project between Colas and l'Institut National de l'Energie Solaire, a new solar road surface has been developed. This combines the fragile photovoltaic, with a durable polycrystalline silicon compound that creates a 7mm thick surface suitable for road traffic! Early estimates suggest this new Route Solaire could provide electricity for 5 million people, but a comparable project in the Netherlands (a 72 metre feasibility study) generated more electricity than initial estimates predicted. All great news for maximising energy prodcution from readily available resources!

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