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

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague
new french law requires parking lots to be covered with solar panels

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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  • 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.

  • Jwee More range and faster charging cannot be good news for the heavily indebted and distracted Musk.Tesla China is discounting their cars. Apart from the Model 3, no one is much buying Tesla's here in Europe. Other groups have already passed Tesla in Europe, where it was once dominant.Among manufacturers, 2021 EV sales:VW Group 25%, Stellantis at 14.5%,Tesla at 13.9%Hyundai-Kia at 11.2% Renault Group at 10.3%. Just 2 years ago, Tesla had a commanding 31.1% share of the European EV marketOuch., changed their data, so this is slightly different than last time I posted this, but same idea.
  • Varezhka Given how long the Mitsubishi USA has been in red, that's a hard one. I mean, this company has been losing money in all regions *except* SE Asia and Oceania ever since they lost the commercial division to Daimler.I think the only reason we still have the brand is A) Mitsubishi conglomerate's pride won't allow it B) US still a source of large volume for the company, even if they lose money on each one and C) it cost too much money to pull out and no one wants to take responsibility. If I was the head of Mitsubishi's North American operation and retreat was not an option, I think my best bet would be to reduce overhead by replacing all the cars with rebadged Nissans built in Tennessee and Mexico.As much as I'd like to see the return of Triton, Pajero Sport (Montero Sport to you and me), and Delica I'm sure that's more nostalgia and grass is greener thing than anything else.
  • Varezhka If there's one (small) downside to the dealer not being allowed to sell above MSRP, it's that now we get a lot of people signing up for the car with zero intention of keeping the car they bought. We end up with a lot of "lightly used" examples on sale for a huge mark-up, including those self-purchased by the dealerships themselves. I'm sure this is what we'll end up seeing with GR Corolla in Japan as well.This is also why the Land Cruiser has a 4 year waitlist in Japan (36K USD starting MSRP -> buy and immediately flip for 10, 20K more -> profit) I'm not sure if there's a good solution for this apart from setting the MSRP higher to match what the market allows, though this lottery system is probably as close as we can get.
  • Jeff S @Lou_BC--Unrelated to this article but of interest I found this on You Tube which explains why certain vehicles are not available in the US because of how the CAFE measures fuel standards. I remember you commenting on this a few years ago on another article on TTAC. The 2023 Chevrolet Montana is an adorable small truck that's never coming to the USA. It's not because of the 1.2L engine, or that Americans aren't interested in small trucks, it's that fuel economy legislation effectively prevents small trucks from happening. What about the Maverick? It's not as small as you think. CAFE, or Corporate Average Fuel Economy is the real reason trucks in America are all at least a specific dimension. Here's how it works and why it means no tiny trucks for us.
  • Gabe A new retro-styled Montero as their halo vehicle to compete against the Bronco, Wrangler and 4Runner. Boxy, round headlights like the 1st generation, two door and four door models, body on frame.A compact, urban truck, Mighty Max, to compete against the Maverick. Retro-styled like the early 90s Mighty Max.A new Outlander Sport as more of a wagon/crossover to compete against the Crosstrek and Kona. Needs to have more power (190+ HP) and a legit transmission, no CVT.A new Eclipse hybrid to compete against the upcoming redesigned Prius. Just match the Prius's specs and make it look great.Drop the Eclipse Cross, I am not sure why they wanted to resurrect the Pontiac Aztec. Keep the Mirage and keep it cheap, make the styling better and up the wheel size. The Outlander seems fine.I like the idea of some sort of commercial vehicle, something similar in size to the Promaster City but with AWD.