Solar roads – a new potential renewable energy for and Great Britain

A. Mukherjee, J. Benett, K. T. Anyigor, O. B. O. Olayinka, A. M. Khalafallah, J. Alencastro, T. E. Butt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Global warming has become a much more realised issue and an immediate threat, accelerating due to the anthropogenic carbon release associated with escalating energy demand. Consequently, pressures are building up to reduce anthropogenic carbon footprint by employing renewable energy resources, among which solar energy is the main. Solar roads are a new and innovative concept as they do not require land to be specifically allocated. This is because the road infrastructure already exists. Therefore, this emerging technique of embedding solar panels into pavements and roadways is becoming a more attractive proposition. However, a hurdle to its successful application is the lack of knowledge regarding its feasibility and viability. This study aims to evaluate the potential of solar roads to inform future feasibility and viability studies in varying contexts and implications. Within the scope of this study, the case of Great Britain is considered to evaluate the potential of how much energy can be generated via the solar roads technology that can be embedded in the country’s road infrastructure. A mathematical exercise is performed in which calculations are executed to develop a basic numerical model of the potential. Therefore, the study is quantitative, and the factors considered include seasonal changes, average daily traffic covering roads, tree and building shades, road types and sizes, solar irradiance, solar panel types, and alike. It is estimated that solar roads may supply up to 96.42% of the UK's total electricity, which is a substantially promising potential.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Technology (United Kingdom)
Early online date15 Feb 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Feb 2024

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