Friday, November 7, 2014
Netherlands: World’s Only Solar Bike Lane
This is amazing news, Netherlands have built the world's first cycling lane made entirely out of solar panels. It is the first of its kind and the SolaRoad is designed to harvest energy from the sun and turn it to electricity. The lane connects two suburbs in Amsterdam and can generate enough electricity to power three households.
The construction started in 2009 and cost about $3.8 million (€3m). It stretches 80 meters, from Krommenie to Wormerveer. It is expected to attract about 2,000 cyclists everyday. The bike lane has already opened last October 21, however the official opening is on Wednesday, November 12, 2014. The bike lane was funded by local authorities and they are targeting to extend it by 10 meters in 2016.
The road is composed of rows of crystalline silicon solar cells, encased within concrete and covered with a translucent layer of tempered glass. It has tilted angle and non-adhesive finish which will help the rain wash off dirt and in effect will keep the surface clean. That will give it a maximum exposure to sunlight.
The creator of the solar powered road aims to produce electricity to power traffice lights, street lights, and even electric cars in the future.
The developers hope to use the electricity produced by the road to power street lights and traffic systems – or even electric cars driving on the surface. At the moment, the road is capable of supplying power for three households.
The Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) said that 20% of their 87,000 miles road can be transformed to solar panels that can help produce clean electricity.
I hope this will set an example to other governments to follow and will help minimize our dependence to gas.