A Portion of China’s Solar Road Stolen by Thieves


Solar roads have a lot of possible problems, including damage and snow, but theft? Apparently, that is also a concern. The  Qilu Evening News of China reported that some thieves were able to carve out a small (5.9in by 73in) part of an experimental road that is located in Jinan on the 2nd of January, a mere five days following its debut last December 28. While it is tempting to insinuate that this was only an accident, officials said that the missing portion was “neatly cut,” and did not seem to have come loose on its own.

The said segment has since been repaired. An investigation is currently ongoing. However, there are not any identified culprits as of this writing.

The reason why someone would cut off a portion of a road is not certain. While solar roads are relatively costly to make, the actual solar panels are not worth that much. The thieves are not going to make a fortune, and this would not be enough for personal use — especially not when there is a layer of transparent concrete on top. The most probable explanation is that someone fancied seeing how the said technology worked and, for some reason, could not just ask the developers.

This probably would not be an ongoing problem. However, it is reasonable to say that this is not a significant issue for ordinary roads. So long as the solar roads remain to be novelties, there are bound to be people who are curious about how they work. It is just a matter of whether or not someone allows that curiosity get the best of them.