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China Builds Solar Panelled Stretch Of Roadway

As many of you will be aware, China is a major manufacturer of solar panels with many being exported to a variety of countries around the world. It is also no doubt keen to lower carbon emissions to improve the air quality in its towns and cities.

China has recently completed the laying of around 2 kilometres of solar panelled highway in the Eastern partQ of the country. It has been constructed by Qilu Transportation Development Group. This sounds like a particularly interesting project as it has involved the laying of concrete that is transparent on the top surface of this particular stretch of road network. Below that the solar panels have been fitted and below them is another layer that provides insulation against the ground that can no doubt be wet.

Apparently, the road surface is capable of allowing medium sized vans to drive over it as well as cars. The solar panels will be helping to generate electricity that can be used by the city that is close to this stretch of highway – Jinan. Another benefit is that the road surface could be heated up with the benefit that any snow and ice would melt and make it safer for motorists to use it in wintry conditions.

It will be interesting to see how successful this project is at generating renewable energy by using solar panels in this way. There will no doubt be a number of other countries that closely monitor the situation and some may decide to follow suit and build similar road systems. Of course, China is not alone in doing this sort of thing as we have previously written about a solar panel surfaced road system in France.

Are we ever likely to see say a stretch of the MI, M6 or M25 motorways with solar panels installed on the surface of a major road here in the UK? Who knows but if we do we shall keep you updated.

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