France Pushes Rooftop Solar With Mandate for Solar Parking Lots

Highlights :

  • The move in France is just one example of pushing renewable use cases where the market does not move fast enough
France Pushes Rooftop Solar With Mandate for Solar Parking Lots

A parliamentary legislation for France that is as interesting as it is environment-friendly, seeks to mandate the installation of solar panels on car parks. This is mandatory for areas stretching over 1,500 square meters. Soon, it should be common to spot solar panels along the country’s large parking lots. Parking lots in fact, offer one of the earliest and easiest starting points for many corporates keen to reduce their environmental impact.

Though the idea sounds novel, India has already seen some carports, as they are beginning to be called, with Tata Motors setting up the country’s largest solar car park in Pune back in 2021. The solar stockyard of 6.2 MWp. Multiple universities and other institutions have also opted to use the extensive car parking space where available to install solar power.

Interestingly, the site that is home to the world’s largest solar car park is at a Biddinghuizen, Netherlands- where a famous music festival is held. Lowlands, the Dutch music festival, hosts the car park sprawling over to 350,000 square metres. The car has 90,000 solar panels and makes room for over 15,000 cars. The solar panels can produce about 35 MWp of solar energy. This is substantial to power 10,000 households. This solar car park, that set a precedent for other countries to follow, was set up last year.  Another solar car park worth mentioning is the one housed at an insurance firm’s head office in Utrecht. An extremely innovative idea, the car park offers its employees the advantage of charging and discharging  as many as 250 electric cars. This is made possible by integrated batteries that can store power that is generated.

Car Parks, public buildings, elevated metro stations, schools… The possibilities are truly endless when it comes to installing rooftop solar today, with attractive benefits that go beyond just the financial earnings/savings. Consider how a solar car park not only generates energy, and possibly charges some EVS, but also provides effective shade to cars parked below, in a hot country like India. We believe the time has come for a formal, concerted effort across states in India to push for installation of solar at these sites. Not only would it support renewable energy generation, RPO obligations of states, but also the domestic manufacturing industry, as rooftop solar has far higher jobs potential when compared to utility scale solar.

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