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France to pave 1,000 kilometers of road with solar panels

In a major step forward for green energy, the French government has announced plans to install solar photovoltaic panels on 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) of road over the next five years. The goal is to supply renewable power to 5 million people—or about 8 percent of the French population. The solar roadways will use Wattway panels, a photovoltaic technology unveiled last October by the major French civil engineering firm Colas. According to Ségolène Royal, France’s minister of ecology and energy, the “Positive Energy” project will be funded by raising taxes on fossil fuels, a decision Royal says is “natural” given the low prices of oil.

The patented Wattway PV solar road solution has been developed over 5 years by Colas in partnership with the French national solar energy institute INES. Based on crystalline silicon, the panels are very thin yet also sturdy, skid-resistant and designed to last. They are applied directly to the existing road or pavement and can cope with heavy vehicles. http://www.yougen.co.uk

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