Road-Integrated Photovoltaics


Road-integrated photovoltaics (RIPV) encompasses the incorporation of solar modules into and near land areas reserved for transportation. This can be directly into the surfaces of roads, footpaths or public squares, but also between railway tracks or associated areas such as noise barriers or highway verges. PV roofing over transportation routes is also conceivable and simultaneously protects the road surface against weathering. All types of transportation routes in Germany in total cover about 5 % of the German land area. A potential of app. 72 GWp is provided by already sealed areas that can be rationally used technologically (e.g. noise barriers, cycleways, highway verges).

Quick-Facts: Road-Integrated Photovoltaics (RIPV)

  • Technical potential in Germany of at least 300 GWp
  • Advantages:
    • utilization of already sealed areas
    • the effort for construction, connection and installation is reduced compared to two separate systems (only road or only PV plant)
    • often short distances for grid connection
  • Challenges:
    • very stringent requirements on the module technology (stability, mechanical loads, skid resistance, noise absorption) and resulting higher module costs
    • efficient laying system for large areas needed
    • cleaning, repair and maintenance more complicated

Application options

Constructions with bifacial solar modules can be used for integration into noise barriers, which are particularly well suited for roads running north-south. For roads running east-west, monofacial modules can be mounted at a tilt onto the noise barrier. When solar modules are integrated directly into the road surface, they must meet the requirements on transportation routes and provide sufficient road grip even under difficult weather conditions.

Noise protection barrier with integrated PV modules
© Quelle: R. Kohlhauer GmbH
Noise protection barrier with integrated PV modules in Neuötting, Germany.

Selected Research Projects



PV road roofing system



Development of Wall-integrated PV Elements for Noise Protection