Netherlands to Roll Out Energy-Generating SolaRoad Bike Path

by , 01/31/11

netherlands, electricity generating road, solar roads, solaroad, solaRoad, solar cycle path, solar cycles, sustainable design, green design, renewable energy, solar power

Paving new bike paths is a great way to encourage carbon-free transportation and cut car emissions, and now The Netherlands is getting ready to roll out an energy-generating solar cycle path. The project, known as SolaRoad, has been developed by the TNO research institute along with the Province of North Holland, the Ooms Avenhorn Group and Imtech. It is currently slated to be constructed in the town of Krommenie, near Amsterdam.

netherlands, electricity generating road, solar roads, solaroad, solaRoad, solar cycle path, solar cycles, sustainable design, green design, renewable energy, solar power

While the SolaRoad is still in the initial concept stage, it is expected to be finished in 2012. The cycle path is made from thick concrete blocks covered with a 1cm thick layer of silicon solar cells. The photovoltaics are protected by tough glass, which allows cyclists to travel over them. SolaRoad is expected to generate 50 kWh per square meter per year. The electricity will then be used for street lighting, traffic systems, or household use.

The project is part of the North Holland government’s focus on sustainable energy, which envisions solar panels embedded in everything from phones to window panes to insect traps.

+ SolaRoad

Via Springwise

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  1. pragya_sees April 25, 2013 at 7:53 am

    An easier and effective way “Solar energy generation potential along national highways” – a research paper based on the concept of generating electricity using national highways.


  2. AnonymouslyInformed June 29, 2012 at 12:18 am

    to MrMcphee -We are surprisingly good at making powerful and durable glass ie: gorilla glass 1 or 2. Also, we are capable of giving it a surface that is totally dissimilar to regular glass meaning it can have traction.

    to WBrooke – These panels are of course expensive, however. they generate electricity, they serve as transportation for said electricity, they in fact can be extremely durable. cost of installation and maintenance / Cost benefit ratio? think about what is spent on installation and maintenance of roads, bike paths, electrical relay stations/distribution, and power plants… (were not done yet) then think about how green solar power is compared to any other generation method.

    at ESchmid – you are right, sort of. Doing this in Holland alone is nice, but really think about the potential for a global system. If all the worlds highways were converted into solar roadway panels we would generate (24/7) much more electricity than is needed, with zero emissions. So while only in Holland this may not truly have an impact, it has staggering potential for a larger scale. (and yes, there are other companies working on ways to make this happen)

  3. ESchmid February 1, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    What I find slightly amusing is the amount of sunshine that Holland has. Solar power in Holland, really?? Are the few days of sunshine that can generate power worth the cost of installation and long-term maintenance? Benefit/cost ratio doesn’t seem to add up on this one.

  4. WBrooke February 1, 2011 at 11:58 am

    I like the concept of every manufactured surface being a power generator, but this just seems like a waste of resources. PV panels are expensive and delicate. Their electrical output is not optimized with a horizontal layout, nor with a thick glass cover that would become scratched and pitted and dirty with all of the traffic. I think the Netherlands could make better use of the PV cells by mounting them on purpose-built structures that angle the panels towards the sun and protect them from dirt and wear. The structures could be artistic and beautiful, and even act rain protection for the bicycle paths. Wouldn’t that be welcome in rainy Netherlands?

  5. mrmcphee January 31, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    Glass sounds like a dangerous bike path material once it starts to rain.

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