Italy again makes history with the world’s first solar-powered motorway adding to its remarkable resume of “firsts”. The Italian Achievement: An A-Z of over 1000 ‘Firsts’ Achieved by Italians in Almost Every Aspect of Life Over the Last 1000 Years is the title of a book written by Autoro Barone that indexes how achievements in art and design, food and fashion, from flying to photography, motor cars to musical instruments has made Italy a prime mover and shaker in the course of history.
Building the world’s first motorway in 1924, the A9 Autostrada dei Laghi (Motorway of the Lakes) to link Milan to Varese, Italy makes more motoring history with the A18 Catania-Siracusa motorway, the world’s first solar-powered motorway. The 30km addition to Sicily’s 600km autostrade uses 80,000 photovoltaic panels to power all of the motorway’s energy requirements from tunnel fans, to lights, road signs and emergency telephones.
It has been reported that the A18 will save 10,000 tons of CO2 emissions joining Italy’s smaller but similar solar road systems (the A20 in Sicily and the A22 in northern Italy), to make the carbon footprint of Italy’s boot a little smaller. Allora prendero’ un altro espresso per favore.