China looks set to compete with the US in the push for solar road infrastructure. Shandong Pavenergy has joined forces with Chinese state-owned construction firm Qilu Transportation to build the country’s first solar highway. Although expensive when compared to regular solar farms, this kind of infrastructure is attracting attention due to the obvious space utilisation possible.

The project is using plastic-covered solar panels to cover existing stretches of road, reducing the need to clear land for a single purpose. Similar projects have struggled elsewhere due to the high costs of panels and labour but Pavenergy is confident. Pavenergy’s plastic-covered solar panels will be installed on a large stretch of highway in Jinan, Shandong Province and have been designed to withstand the pressure from the regular high-density traffic. “If it can pass this test, it can fit all conditions,” said Li Wu, the chairman of Pavenergy.

Read the full story as reported by The New York Times.

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