Last week, as part of the scramble going on all across Europe to replace cheap natural gas supplies from Russia with renewable energy, the French Senate approved new legislation that requires all car parks with space for more than 80 cars to cover those spaces with solar roofs. This has the rather splendid, if accidental, effect of making cheap renewable electricity available to any electric cars parked below.
But here’s the kicker. When complete, it is estimated all those solar roofs will provide an estimate 11 MW of electricity — equivalent to the output of 10 conventional nuclear power plants. Parking lot owners will have 5 years to comply starting from July 1, 2023. Lots with more than 400 spaces will need to comply within three years. Failure to comply in time will result in a fine of 50 euros per parking spot per month. For a parking lot with 80 spaces, the fine could amount to 48,000 euros per year. “We must not delay the implementation of the decarbonization of our economy,” Senator Agnès Pannier-Runacher said during the Senate debate on the legislation, Forbes reports.
Parking lots that have architectural, environmental, heritage, or other proven restraints, and car parks that have at least half of the property shaded by trees may be exempt. Parking lots for heavy goods vehicles weighing over 7.5 metric tons may not be required to install the solar panels and solar panel installation that “cannot be met under economically acceptable conditions” could also be exempt, according to Engadget. The legislation specifies that larger car parks must have at least half of the property covered in solar panels.Large Scale Solar Roofs Getting The Respect They Deserve – CleanTechnica