The minister of the Environment, Ségolène Royal, was inaugurated Thursday at Tourouvre, Orne, the first sun route in the world, a technology that it hopes to spread widely in France and abroad, despite criticism over its cost and its effectiveness.
For its third move in a year in the small normandy village, Ségolène Royal was finally able to contemplate the result of its efforts to promote roads “positive energy”, these road surfaces in test phase, which have the characteristic of transforming solar radiation into energy.
Surrounded by a crowd of journalists, the minister is officially connected to the electricity network, the first kilometre of this prototype coating innovative, made up of photovoltaic cells encapsulated in a resin and glued on the floor.
The 2,000 motorists who travel on average each day the RD5 to get out of Tourouvre will now roll for a mile on 2,800 m2 of photovoltaic tiles like floor tiles plastic coated.
According to the initiators of this project called “Wattway”, co-invented by Colas and the CEA Tech, the sun route norman must produce the equivalent of the public lighting of a city of 5,000 inhabitants. The photovoltaic cells are manufactured by the Scop SNA, at Tourouvre.
all work is covered by a State subsidy of 5 million euros excluding tax.
“It is a prototype that begins to interest at the international level”, noted the minister, when questioned on the telephone by AFP, noting that the Chinese, the Africans, and Moroccans have expressed their interest in visiting the stand dedicated to this technology at the COP22 in Marrakech.
“It’s a genius idea, it uses a space that is used to something else and does not consume agricultural land in the heavily populated countries”, she pleaded.
- national Deployment -
Confident in this technology, Ms. Royal has developed at a press conference on the characteristics of its “deployment plan national roads solar”, with the goal of achieving 1,000 miles of track solar within five years.
The State will “lead in 2017, a plan of experimental route to solar on the national road network, first step of a deployment program over the 4 years to come,” said the ministry.
The road 164, in Brittany, has been chosen to experiment the first stretch of road solar on a national route.
The plan will also lead to the launch in January of a “tender innovation to encourage the development of solar technologies innovative”.
“The Commission of Energy regulation (CRE) will be entered as soon as January of a draft specification for the realization of solar plants innovative,” said the ministry.
If the concept of highway solar has many benefits, including the right to use, to produce electricity, roads that are in average occupied by cars that 20% of the time, according to Colas, the critics are nonetheless hear.
Questioned by AFP, Jean-Louis Bal, president of Syndicat des energies renouvelables (SER), is said, as well as “interrogative”.
“It was a prototype at about 17 euros per watt then we get to 1 euro per watt for power plants (photovoltaic, editor’s NOTE) to the ground. The question is therefore to know what is the potential for reduction of this cost”, he explained.
The representative of the main professional organisation of the sector also wondered about the amount of energy produced in real-life conditions.
“The photovoltaic panels are in a horizontal position, which is not the optimal tilt”, he says, adding that the passage of vehicles “reduces the production of energy”.
Finally, the lifetime of the product, much more solicited as a panel on a roof, also raises the question, according to him. Not enough to discourage the activism of the minister, which launched to the public in leaving: “good luck!”.
22/12/2016 16:04:17 – Tourouvre (France) (AFP) – © 2016 AFP