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In South Korea ??, the solar panels in the middle of the highway have a bicycle path underneath - cyclists are protected from the sun, isolated from traffic, and the country can produce clean energy.

Is it? Clean? AFAIK, solar panels production consumes lots of rare-earth elements and aren't recyclable? ?
@Augier (fr & en) ☭? they have made a lot of progress on solar panel recycling. Let's also not do the perfect is the enemy of the good. That just leads to stagnation of the status quo.
Oh it's not rhetoric. It really was a question. That is a subject I master, far from it. Of course, it all depends on the purpose. If it's about replacing coil plants by solar panels, I suppose it's a good thing. But if these solar panel are here to produce more energy, then, it's probably not beneficial ?
To go further about your good intuition:
"Increasing the share of renewable energy will not make us any less dependent on fossil fuels as long as total energy consumption keeps rising."
@Nicola Spanti (Logilab) like with products the order is supposed to be: reduce, reuse, recycle. Reduce is the first part. That said we already have the technological means to be off fossil fuels even at our current energy expenditure levels.
Do you have source(s) for "we already have the technological means to be off fossil fuels even at our current energy expenditure levels"?
Between nuclear and renewable energy we could generate far more energy than we currently use. It's not even close. I mean some have even worked out we can do it solely with renewable energy even.
It's actually more about multipurpose structures that foster generation of renewable energy and less reliance on fossil fuels. It's the same as putting solar panels on parking lots/structures. The "but rare earth metals" conversation reminds me of "but the birds" around windmills. No one cares about heavy metal pollution from nuclear, tar sands, burning/processing of the fossil fuels, etc. when discussing their use in solar or wind. No one cares about the reprocessing or storage of nuclear fuel when discussing the ecological affects of rare earth metal extraction. No one talks about how we are using them in essentially all of our modern electronics products. It becomes FUD for not doing renewable energy in our energy solutions. I am all for making sure we are not ignoring ecological problems of any energy production process but we need to look at it holistically.
That's all true. This is definitely a complex issue.
But lie is the enemy of good and very good for rejection. Solar panels are not clean. It causes less greenhouse gas emissions than some other things, but it also produces way more some other ecological problems. Moreover it is less independent, because there is not always enough sun, but electricity is wanted always, so more devices are needed (batteries, etc.). We could prefer solar panels to some other things, but no need to falsify reality for that.
I find cycling next to automobiles moving at highway speeds psychologically draining - just the noise makes me feel like I'm about to get run over - even when there's adequate protection. But if there are no other options, that's certainly better than cycling next to rapidly-moving vehicles with no protection at all !