A country known for its windmills has found its way to the cutting edge of renewable energy once again. The Dutch government recently announced a pilot project in the town of Krommenie, which is about 15 kilometers north of Amsterdam, that will see solar panels installed in bike lanes in the community. The SolaRoad, as the technology is called, will then likely appear in other jurisdictions of Holland if it’s successful in Krommenie.
The energy-harvesting pavement, designed by Dutch research firm TNO, includes a layer of concrete overlaid with crystalline silicone solar cells. Upon installation, the solar panels are coated with a layer of pressure and damage-resistant glass. In theory, each square foot of solar panels is capable of generating 50 kWh of power per year, which would be used to power streetlights, some households and perhaps electric cars. Of course, the solar panels’ energy production capacity is contingent on sunshine.
The first SolaRoads are scheduled for implementation next year.
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