New French Law Requires Parking Lots to Be Covered With Solar Panels

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

Parking lots are bad for the environment for a bunch of reasons, but a new French law aims to curb some of the negative impacts. Starting in July 2023, owners of lots with between 80 and 400 spaces will have five years to cover them with solar panels.

The law states that half of the lot must be covered with solar panels, and the government believes its new plan could generate up to 11 gigawatts of electricity, which, as Engadget points out, is near the output of 10 nuclear power plants. Though lots with up to 400 spaces have five years to comply, larger areas will have three. 

Regardless of their size, all lots must cover at least half of their area with panels. The government built in exceptions to the law, however, so there will be some that get by without the effort. If a lot has “technical, safety, architectural, heritage, and environmental constraints,” they may qualify for an exemption. The law also offers exemptions for lots covered at least halfway by trees, lots for which compliance “cannot be met under economically acceptable conditions,” and dedicated truck parking lots. The government is also exploring the possibility of building solar farms on vacant lots and near highways or railroad tracks. 

We don’t know if the French government will offer financial assistance to parking lot owners, nor has it stated how it would pay for installing the solar panels. Even so, some industries in France are already working toward a solar-powered future. Disneyland Paris is building its own solar parking lot, and one of the country’s national railway operators has promised to install over a million square meters of panels by 2030.

[Image: Seo Byeong Gon via Shutterstock]

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Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

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  • Jeff S Jeff S on Nov 12, 2022

    Lou_BC--That is precisely the point. The oil companies are going to provide more product in places where they make the most profit. Corporate oil answers to the stockholders and much of the CEO and other top officers pay is based on earnings per share. As you said any global stressor even if it is perceived will cause oil prices to go up. Limited refinery capacity also creates higher prices. Short of nationalizing oil, regulating the price of oil and its products, and or requiring so much oil and product stay within the country for domestic use there is not much that can be done. I doubt any of the previous will happen regardless of promises from either political party. Political campaigns are funded by lobbyists and special interest groups and regardless of what politicians promise they are not going to go against those interests that fund their campaigns. I am not making this up I worked in the oil industry years ago and one of my assignments was tracking corporate campaign funds. I am not bashing politicians or corporations I am just telling it like it is.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Nov 12, 2022

    Lou_BC--Here is a link to an article on the untold story behind Saudi Arabia's 41 Year US debt secret. How a legendary bond trader from Salomon Brothers brokered a do-or-die deal that reshaped U.S.-Saudi relations for generations.

    I just happened to find this article today and even though it is from 2016 it still is relevant to the US and Saudi Arabia relationship. I didn't realize this before but it is not that easy for the US to stop buying Saudi oil because they are a major holder of US Treasury debt.

  • Bkojote Allright, actual person who knows trucks here, the article gets it a bit wrong.First off, the Maverick is not at all comparable to a Tacoma just because they're both Hybrids. Or lemme be blunt, the butch-est non-hybrid Maverick Tremor is suitable for 2/10 difficulty trails, a Trailhunter is for about 5/10 or maybe 6/10, just about the upper end of any stock vehicle you're buying from the factory. Aside from a Sasquatch Bronco or Rubicon Jeep Wrangler you're looking at something you're towing back if you want more capability (or perhaps something you /wish/ you were towing back.)Now, where the real world difference should play out is on the trail, where a lot of low speed crawling usually saps efficiency, especially when loaded to the gills. Real world MPG from a 4Runner is about 12-13mpg, So if this loaded-with-overlander-catalog Trailhunter is still pulling in the 20's - or even 18-19, that's a massive improvement.
  • Lou_BC "That’s expensive for a midsize pickup" All of the "offroad" midsize trucks fall in that 65k USD range. The ZR2 is probably the cheapest ( without Bison option).
  • Lou_BC There are a few in my town. They come out on sunny days. I'd rather spend $29k on a square body Chevy
  • Lou_BC I had a 2010 Ford F150 and 2010 Toyota Sienna. The F150 went through 3 sets of brakes and Sienna 2 sets. Similar mileage and 10 year span.4 sets tires on F150. Truck needed a set of rear shocks and front axle seals. The solenoid in the T-case was replaced under warranty. I replaced a "blend door motor" on heater. Sienna needed a water pump and heater blower both on warranty. One TSB then recall on spare tire cable. Has a limp mode due to an engine sensor failure. At 11 years old I had to replace clutch pack in rear diff F150. My ZR2 diesel at 55,000 km. Needs new tires. Duratrac's worn and chewed up. Needed front end alignment (1st time ever on any truck I've owned).Rear brakes worn out. Left pads were to metal. Chevy rear brakes don't like offroad. Weird "inside out" dents in a few spots rear fenders. Typically GM can't really build an offroad truck issue. They won't warranty. Has fender-well liners. Tore off one rear shock protector. Was cheaper to order from GM warehouse through parts supplier than through Chevy dealer. Lots of squeaks and rattles. Infotainment has crashed a few times. Seat heater modual was on recall. One of those post sale retrofit.Local dealer is horrific. If my son can't service or repair it, I'll drive 120 km to the next town. 1st and last Chevy. Love the drivetrain and suspension. Fit and finish mediocre. Dealer sucks.
  • MaintenanceCosts You expect everything on Amazon and eBay to be fake, but it's a shame to see fake stuff on Summit Racing. Glad they pulled it.