In a small win for planet Earth and for drivers, France has passed a new law which requires large parking lots to have solar panel coverage, often referred to as a solar parking lot.
The law requires lots of 80-400 cars to have at least 50% coverage, except in exception cases of historical spaces and to accommodate tall trucks. It comes on the heels of France’s plan to drastically increase the solar and wind supply in the country, which has for years relied heavily on nuclear energy.
As you can see in the photos, this type of coverage is not new, and has gained traction in hot climates, where the shade is highly sought after as well.
In an ideal scenario, a large solar parking lot could directly power and charge electric vehicles, making the entire system holistic and clean. There are many Tesla solar charging stations throughout the world that use a similar setup, creating shade for people and vehicles, while also harnessing clean energy from the sun.
Here’s hoping more of these eco-solutions become commonplace, using free energy from the sun (and wind) to power our busy lives.
“The parking lot panels are expected to generate up to 11 gigawatts of energy. This is equivalent to the power of 10 nuclear reactors. The government is also considering installing solar panels in other unused or creative spaces. SNCF—the French railroad system—plans to load their stations with panels, too. By 2050, the government plans to implemenet 50 new wind farms to further power the nation. While installing solar panels might be a big task—and many of the details are yet to be hammered out—surely this is a step to make Joni Mitchell and any environmentalist smile.”