Home Uncategorized Virtue signal failure.

Virtue signal failure.

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Photos show the world’s first solar road that’s turned out to be a colossal failure because it’s falling apart and doesn’t generate enough energy
  • In July, a French daily newspaper published a story saying the longest solar road in the world had failed. It’s neither economically viable or energy efficient.
  • Less than three years since the road opened, it’s become cracked and damaged. Parts of the road have been demolished because they weren’t salvageable.
  • Energy targets were never hit, because engineers didn’t plan for rotting leaves to block sunlight. 

France appears to have been on the solar road to nowhere.

In July, the French daily newspaper Le Monde reported that the 0.6-mile solar road was a fiasco.

In December 2016, when the trial road was unveiled, the French Ministry of the Environment called it “unprecedented”. French officials said the road, made of photovoltaic panels, would generate electricity to power streetlights in Tourouvre, a local town.

But less than three years later, a report published by Global Construction Review says France’s road of dreams may be over. Cracks have appeared, and in 2018, part of the road had to be demolished due to damage from wear and tear.

Even at its peak, the road was only producing half of the expected energy, because engineers didn’t take into consideration rotting leaves falling on the road.

It was all smiles and high hopes in 2016, when the world’s first solar panel road, called Wattway, opened. France spent $US5.2 million on 0.6 miles of road, and 30,000 square feet of solar panels. It was hailed as the longest solar road in the world.
Media gathered around to take a walk down what was thought to be the road of the future. The French minister for energy said she wanted to have solar panels on one mile of road every 621 miles in the country within the next five years.
It was a bold move beginning a solar panel trial in Normandy, France, since the region doesn’t have the most sunshine. Caen, a city in Normandy, only has 44 days of strong sunshine in a year. Thunderstorms also reportedly broke solar panels on the road.
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7 COMMENTS

  1. French taxpayers are suckers. Try reinforced concrete it lasts forever. So much for your greenie schemes!

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    • Unless it is crappy substandard steel and/or cement from China.
      https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2018/06/nzta-knew-about-substandard-chinese-steel-emails-show.html

      “Newly released emails have shown the New Zealand Transport Agency knew it had imported hundreds of tonnes of poor-quality steel from China, despite public denials.

      The documents, obtained by RNZ under the Official Information Act, show 600 steel rods meant to be used as “piling and structural support for bridges, flyovers and various structural elements” on the Huntly section of the Waikato Expressway failed brittleness tests and couldn’t be used as intended.”

      Crapola NZTA strikes again.
      plus Kapiti expressway; dodgy licences; dodgy WOF.
      I think NZTA should start a blog of their successes.
      They wont need to employ anyone to write that!

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  2. It didn’t work, but the idea of using commonly available, non-utilized surfaces to install solar panels shouldn’t be discarded. If the lifetime cost makes if worthwhile, it should be trialed. Or don’t we believe in the idea of developing new and innovative ways to use technology anymore?

    A road was probably not the best choice and that was a poorly chosen location from the account, but are there alternative ways to extract energy from the roads we build? A means to find a way to utilise something for multiple purposes. I’m all for research and experimentation with those types of things.

    THAT is where NZ could be leading – by using technology to improve our energy and resource consumption. You don’t need to believe in climate change (I don’t) to appreciate efficiency and using less resources to accomplish your goals. Or to want to help clean up our planet.

    Like for example the use of recycled plastics in the bitumen / asphalt mix. There’s good work being done on that in Indonesia and Malaysia over the last couple of years and it apparently improves the road quality as well. It’s only a small quantity, like 10kg per tonne or something like that, but something that cleans up a bit of landfill.

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    • Yeah, they could have ripped up some of that green grass next to the road. Paved it and stood their solar panels up to face the sun. That’ll work!

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    • It definitely won’t get us there, agreed. And if any of them had watched your Thunderfoot link, they’d have seen what a shitty cost benefit ratio it had without even delving into the physics.

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    • Agree with your point we should be using resources and ingenuity to develop solutions in New Zealand for New Zealand to issues we may face.

      The notion of sending funds off shore to supposedly handle climate change is simply dumb.

      We also need to focus on our own situation rather than big note at various international forums. I just do not see any value whatsoever in our PM attending a U.N. event on climate change given her tendency to hand hard earnt taxpayer funds out to others to make some point that escapes me.

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  3. No, there were scientists and engineers who have said solar roadways are extra stupid. But people in government are blind when it comes to their pet ideologies.

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