Can solar panels on highways accelerate the supply of green energy?

Excerpt from swissinfo.ch

Laurent Jospin, the boss of Energypier, a Swiss renewables start-up has a vision: on the motorway that snakes through the Rhône Valley in canton Valais solar panels and small wind turbines generate green energy in the fight against climate change.

The location and conditions are perfect for one of his solar highway pilot projects, he insists. Valais, with its sun-drenched terraced vineyards and fertile orchards, is after all one of the sunniest regions in Switzerland.

“I fear we are heading towards a really serious climate situation. Right now, we’re not taking the right path. I have children and I believe it’s my duty to do something,” he tells SWI swissinfo.ch.

The entrepreneur wants to install 47,000 solar panels on open canopy metal structures over a 1.6 kilometre (1 mile) stretch of the A9 motorway at Fully, near Martigny, to produce electricity for 12,000 households a year. Energypier is planning a similar pilot scheme on 2.5km of motorway near Zurich for 20,000 households. In a secondary phase, he wants to install small vertical wind turbines next to the structures.