A new rule in France that was approved by the Senate will require solar panels in parking lots that can hold at least 80 automobiles. The act is a part of President Emmanuel Macron’s initiative to quicken the nation’s switch to renewable energy.
The rule stipulates that bigger parking lots with more than 400 spots must comply in the following three years, and that parking lots with 80 to 400 spaces have five years (beginning in July 2023) to do so.
A 50 euro monthly fine per parking space on the lot will be assessed for noncompliance. As a result, a parking lot with 80 places that doesn’t comply by the deadline risked a 48,000 euro fee every year until it did.
According to Forbes, Senator Agnes Pannier-Runacher stated during the Senate’s discussion on the proposal that we must not put off the decarbonization of our economy.
These larger parking lots are required by law to install solar panels on at least half of their surface area. According to government estimates, the proposal has the potential to produce up to 11 gigawatts of power, which is equivalent to the energy produced by 10 nuclear reactors.
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However, there are several exclusions, including parking lots with at least 50% of their area shaded by trees and lots with architectural, environmental, historical, or other demonstrated constraints.
The installation of solar panels may not be necessary for parking spaces for heavy goods vehicles that weigh more than 7.5 metric tonnes, and solar panel installation requirements that cannot be satisfied under favourable economic conditions may also be excused, according to Engadget.
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However, many French parking lots already have solar panels installed. One such installation, a 17 megawatt one that will cover more than 11,200 parking spaces for Disneyland Paris, is currently under construction. The new laws target huge parking lots, especially those that are close to roads and important thoroughfares. The solar panels not only offer green electricity but also act as a sunshade, keeping automobiles cooler.
This is a part of France’s bigger plan to switch to more renewable energy sources after the country fell short of its 2020 renewable energy commitments, making it the only member of the EU to do so. The nation is thinking of constructing solar farms close to roadways, farms, and trains in addition to requiring solar panels for parking lots.