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.