KROMMENIE – The Netherlands Unveils world’s first solar road which converts sunlight into electricity, open in Krommenie in North Holland.
Dubbed SolaRoad, the 230-foot pilot lane located in Krommenie in North Holland. Road consists of 8-by-11-foot prefab concrete slabs, into which solar cells are fitted underneath a layer of tempered glass.
It’s that glass, however, that provides the greatest challenge: It must be translucent enough for sunlight to penetrate, as well as skid resistant and strong enough to carry large volumes of vehicles.
In partnership with independent research organization TNO, the SolaRoad project has been under development since 2009, with the goal to realize “the dream that large parts of the road surface in the Netherlands will act as a large solar panel,” according to the project website.
Over time, that power will be put to use in practical applications like street lighting, traffic systems, electric cars driving on the surface, and even households.
The new solar road was created as the first step in a project that the local government hopes will see the path being extended to 100 metres by 2016.More complimentary plans are also on the table as the country intends to power everything from traffic lights to electric cars using solar panels.
The Netherlands has an international reputation as a bike-friendly nation; it’s home to some 18 million bicycles and 21,748 miles of bike lanes.