New legislation in France will require all large car parks to be covered by solar panels.
As part of President Emmanuel Macron’s environmental push, newly-approved legislation will require all existing and new car parking areas with space for at least 80 vehicles to be covered by solar panels. Owners of car parks with between 80 and 400 spaces will be required to add solar panels within the next five years. Those operating car parks with more than 400 spaces will have to comply within three years.
The French government was originally planning on applying the bill to car parks large than 2,500 square meters but instead decided to opt for those with a certain number of parking spaces. The move could generate up to 11 gigawatts of power for the country, roughly the equivalent of 10 nuclear reactors, The Guardian reports.
The law will come into force on July 1, 2023.
Read: French Government Prioritizes Low Income Families For Electric Vehicle Subsidies, Wants More Locally-Produced EVs
“We must not delay the implementation of the decarbonization of our economy,” Senator Agnès Pannier-Runacher described during a recent debate.
It doesn’t appear as though the French government will provide any financial assistance to car park operators who are forced to install expensive solar panels roofs.
There are some exceptions, though. For example, those car parks that have “technical, safety, architectural, heritage, and environmental constraints” may be able to avoid the requirement. Those parking lots that are more than half covered in shade by nearby trees could also avoid having to install solar panels.
A number of car parks throughout France already have solar panel roofs. Perhaps the most notable example of a car park with a solar panel roof is the lot used by the Belgium Zoon. Its expansive parking lot has 62,000 overhead solar panels generating some 20 megawatts of power, more than enough to power the zoo, Engadget reports.
Opening image: Collections École Polytechnique / Jérémy Barande/WikiMedia Commons