The government's target of exceeding 5% and 10% energy production from renewable sources by 2003 and 2010 has been revised in the recent White Paper to achieving 20% by 2020. The importance of developing these resources has been recognised by HA who commissioned this feasibility study to explore and assess the possibility of harvesting renewable energy from within the motorway and trunk road network.
An initial scoping study of a wide range of renewable energy options recommended a positive response by HA in implementing trials at full scale. A feasibility study was therefore initiated into two techniques which could be exploited on the highway network. Firstly, the recovery of electricity from solar power using photovoltaic panels mounted on the exposed faces of highway noise barriers. Secondly, the use of heat exchangers and ground source heat pumps in recovering energy from solar thermal heating of pavements, although this technique is more suited to direct heating applications. The evaluation will initially be made by desk studies assessing the economic and environmental implications.