Solar Roads: Can Streets Become Giant Solar Panels? Video

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The sun’s rays can hit some roads for up to 90 percent of the daylight hours, so companies in Europe and the U.S. are experimenting with building solar panels along or above roads. But are such projects worth the cost? In France one company is hoping to distinguish itself—and reduce costs—with solar panels that are laid directly on the pavement.

he Netherlands built the first solar road, a bike path, in 2014. France announced a bolder move in January—over the next five years, it plans to install 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) of solar roads, designed to supply power to five million people.

That’s not all. German company Solmove aims to bring solar panels to German roads, and Idaho-based Solar Roadways has received three rounds of U.S. government funding (plus $2 million in venture capital) to test its technology.

Video National Geographic News 2016.

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