Section of China's new solar highway 'stolen' after only five days

The newly-opened road section has been temporarily closed while repairs take place

Section of China's new solar highway 'stolen' after only five days

Picture by: Zhu Zheng/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

A newly-opened 'solar highway' in China has temporarily closed after a section of the road was 'stolen'.

The experimental one-kilometre stretch of road - consisting of solar panels that cars can drive over - in Jinan in Shandong province opened on December 28th.

However, South China Morning Post reports that an inspection only five days later revealed that a 1.8-metre panel and had been removed and seven other panels damaged by thieves.

It is believed that a professional team interested in the solar technology used may have stolen the high-tech road section.

It is now being investigated, and repairs are taking place.

The road is what is known as a photovoltaic highway, which generates electricity.

The world's first such highway - which use transparent concrete to protect the solar panels - was opened in the village Tourouvre-au-Perche in north-west France in 2016, and is said to be able to generate enough energy to power the village's streetlights. 

The Xinhua news agency notes that the new solar road in China is believed to be able to meet the daily demand of around 800 households.

Officials said the test section of road will power "highway lights, signboards, surveillance cameras, tunnel and toll gate facilities", Xinhua adds.