Motoring experts have warned successful trials of solar-powered motorways could be a solution to meet the UK’s high energy targets. The tools would see solar panels built alongside or on top of some of the UK’s busiest roads to help generate clean energy.
It comes after a town in France, Tourouvre-au-Perche was one of the first to build a road with solar panels built into the surface.
Built by Anglo-French construction firm Colas, the technology is expected to have an efficiency rating of 15 percent, just five percent short of roof-covered solar panels.
France’s ecology minister backs the plan and has claimed she would like to see solar roadways replace one kilometre every 1,000km in France.
However, the cost is a concern with a 1km road in Normandy costing £4.3million to build.
But, scientists will also consider the effects of water drainage, stability and its resistance to vehicle collisions.
Experts at Money.co.uk warn a similar programme on the M25 “could be the answer to Britain’s energy woes”.
It warns covering the M25 with panels could cost a staggering £1.5billion, more than it took to build the motorway itself.
However, Money.co.uk estimated the new canopy could produce 1504 MegaWatts, enough to power 400,000 homes.
“We were fascinated to find out that, in the not-so-distant future, driving home down the M25 could help to power your oven for your dinner.
“One of the main advantages of green energy sources is that they don’t require transportation or associated fuel costs.
“This is often taken into account by electricity suppliers, meaning better electricity prices for the end customer.”