France has unveiled the first solar-powered road in the world.
The 1km road, made from electricity-generating panels runs through the village of Tourouvre-au-Perche, in Normandy.
Developed by Colas over a five-year period, the road, called a ‘wattway’, will power all of the streetlights in the village, and expects to see 2,000 motorists per day.
One of the issues with solar power is its expense. Marc Jedliczka, vice-president of Network for Energetic Transition, told Le Monde:
It’s without doubt a technical advance, but in order to develop renewables there are other priorities than a gadget of which we are certain that it’s very expensive than the fact it works.
Investing in solar panels depends on the amount of sunshine a country receives, meaning that building them in Spain, for example, might be more cost-effective than in the UK.
According to Bloomberg, each square metre of the solar road costs €2,500 (£2,168) coming to a grand total of €5 million (£4.3 million) for its entirety.
There are plans to build more wattways in Calgary, Canada and Georgia, USA.
If the panes prove successful, there are plans to roll them out globally.