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Could China Be The Trendsetter for Solar Expressways?

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China is all set to use its 2 km long solar powered expressway. Jinan, the capital city of Shandong launched weight-bearing solar panels stretching for 2km into the city, just before the year-end. The road is made of three different layers, with a top transparent concrete layer, that allows sunlight to penetrate, protecting the solar panels beneath. The last layer consists of an insulation which protects the panels from the earth’s elements.

The panels, cover an area of 5,875 square meters and will generate 1 million kWh of power annually, enough to meet the daily power demand of nearly 800 households. It will also be used to power street lights and help snow-melting on the road. The expressway is expected to handle 10 times more pressure than the normal roads.

You might also like to read our list of 5 Coolest Solar Inventions For The Road!

Solar Exxpressway

China has completely revolutionized the global solar industry and this solar highway will be another solar breakthrough. Solar-powered roads could be actually used for charging electric vehicles as they drive along. They could also support driverless fleets and provide proactive technical support.

The world’s first solar road was built in the Netherlands and went live in 2015, generating 70kWh of energy per square meter annually. This 230-foot “SolaRoad” as it is popularly called, is made up of two-layered safety glass solar cells and was originally built for cycling.

China is one of the largest emerging economies and has been a trendsetter for solar in many ways. Let’s hope the solar expressway also catches enough fire for the world to follow soon.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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