SolaRoad Project Still Alive
Space is scarce in the Netherlands, one of the most densely populated countries in the world, hence the drive to push back water and acclaim new land. But still…
From this background it is understandable that a company by the name of “SolaRoad” came up with the idea to add a new function to bicycle paths: electricity generation via built-in solar cells. The Solaroad is a 73 m bicyclepath, inaugurated in 2014 by the Dutch minister of economic affairs, Henk Kamp. Since then the project has been expanded to include thin film solar cells. Additionally several stretches consist of coating only to study wear. Expected yield: 11700 kWh/year or 70 kWh/m2/year.
In a period of a year 150,000 bicycles passed the Solaroad, leading to considerable wear of the top layer that partially needed to be replaced with better materials.
Meanwhile the Solaroad consortium has a solaroad-kit on offer, that is standard stretches of 10 m long bikepaths, aimed at municipalities keen on giving their communities a “green image”. In the province of Groningen a similar bike path has been installed.
The US state of California has signed a letter of intent to have a solaroad constructed there as well.