Quantcast
Business

World's First Solar Road Already Generating More Power Than Expected

SolaRoad, the world's first "solar road," has only been in operation since November, but it's already generating more power than expected. SolaRoad is a bike path in Krommenie, a village northwest of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, that also functions as a massive solar array. The project was developed by TNO, the Province of Noord-Holland, Ooms Civiel and Imtech.

More than 150,000 bicyclists have used the road in the last six months in the Netherlands, where many people commute by bike. Photo credit: SolaRoad

"We did not expect a yield as high as this so quickly,” said Sten de Wit, spokesman for SolaRoad. “The bike road opened half a year ago and already generated over 3,000 kWh. This can provide a single-person household with electricity for a year, or power an electric scooter to drive 2.5 times around the world."

The pilot period will run for another two and half years to see how well the panels hold up and how much electricity they generate. Since opening six months ago, more than 150,000 bicyclists have used the road. At the end of December and in early spring of this year, a small section of the panels needed repair, but otherwise the panels are holding up very well, according to the project developers. The solar cells are protected by a thin layer of transparent, skid-resistant tempered glass that is able to support bicycles and vehicles.

Where does this electricity go you ask? "The solar electricity from the road is fed into the electricity grid and can be used, for example, for street lighting, traffic systems, households and (eventually) electric cars that drive over it," the project developers said.

The road is only 70 meters, or about 230 feet, so imagine the potential of this technology if adopted on a wider scale. We featured a similar Idaho-based project, Solar Roadways, whose Indiegogo campaign became extremely successful when their video went viral last year.

The project does have its detractors though. ZME Science points out the three-year project costs 3.5 million euros and the solar panels could need regular repair from winter weather and normal wear and tear. ZME Science said, "Maybe we should first cover every available inch on our rooftops first."

Watch the video from SolaRoad to see how it could be the road of the future:

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

7 Senators Push for Federal Energy Standard of 30% Renewables by 2020

20-Mile Bike Lane Is Also Massive Solar Array

How Does Your State Rank for Being Bike Friendly?

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sponsored
Popular
Kingborough Council

Tasmania Builds Road From Single-Use Plastics, Glass and Printer Toner

A local government in Tasmania found a clever way to recycle single-use plastics and other landfill-bound waste by building a new road.

The 500-meter (1,640-foot) stretch outside the city of Hobart is made of approximately 173,600 plastic bags and packaging, as well as 82,500 glass bottle equivalents diverted from landfill, the Kingborough council announced Tuesday.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Alchemy Goods / Bambaw / LuminAID

EcoWatch's Favorite Green Gifts for the Holidays

The holidays are coming and if you're stuck on what to give your eco-conscious friend or relative, we've got you covered. At EcoWatch, we're big fans of homemade presents, products that actually help the planet, and putting our dollars towards a good cause. This year, our staff has rounded up some of the best green gifts we've given and received, as well as the items on our wish list.

Keep reading... Show less
Politics
U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Senate Approves Farm Bill

By Dan Nosowitz

The Farm Bill, which is supposed to be passed about every five years but which has for the past few been substantially delayed, finally saw the Senate floor Thursday, where it passed by a vote of 87 to 13.

Keep reading... Show less
Animals
Mtwrighter / CC BY-SA 4.0

Most Diverse Butterfly Center in the U.S. to be Bulldozed for Trump’s Border Wall

The National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas is the most diverse butterfly sanctuary in the U.S. Some 200 species of butterflies find a home there each year, including the Mexican bluewing, the black swallowtail and the increasingly imperiled monarch. And, as soon as February, almost 70 percent of it could be lost to President Donald Trump's border wall, The Guardian reported Thursday.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Energy
McAfee Knob along the Appalachian Trail in Virginia. Appalachian Trail Conservancy / NPS

Court Tosses Controversial Pipeline Permits, Rules Forest Service Failed to ‘Speak for the Trees’

The Lorax would not approve of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline—the controversial pipeline intended to carry fracked natural gas through 600 miles in Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina. That's the sentiment behind a ruling by a Virginia appeals court Thursday tossing out a U.S. Forest Service permit for the pipeline to cross 21 miles of national forest in Virginia, including a part of the Appalachian Trail, The News & Observer reported.

Keep reading... Show less
Business
The Overpass Light Brigade at Bascom Hall in Madison, Wisconsin on April 4, 2014. depthandtime / Flickr

Global Divestment Movement Celebrates Milestone: 1,000 Institutions With Nearly $8 Trillion in Assets Have Vowed to Ditch Fossil Fuels

By Jake Johnson

While the COP24 climate talks are at risk of ending without a concrete plan of action thanks in large part to the Trump administration's commitment to a dirty energy agenda, environmental groups on Thursday celebrated a major milestone in the global movement to take down the fossil fuel industry after the number of public and private institutions that have vowed to divest from oil, gas and coal companies surpassed 1,000.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Food

Slaughter-Free Lab Grown Steak Cast As Ethically Friendly Alternative

Lab-grown meat—also known as cultured meat or in vitro meat—is often cast as an environmentally and ethically friendly alternative to raising traditional livestock.

These slaughter-free products aren't available on the market yet, but the dream is so enticing that Bill Gates, Richard Branson and even Tyson Foods—one of the country's largest meat companies—have made big bets on it.

Keep reading... Show less
Energy
Northeast National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. Bob Wick / BLM

Trump Administration's Alaska Oil and Gas Lease Sale a 'Major Flop'

Despite the Trump administration's unrelenting quest to drill the Arctic, Wednesday's oil and gas lease sale in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A) yielded a "disappointing" return of $1.5 million, E&E News reported.

Oil and gas giants ConocoPhillips, Emerald House and Nordaq Energy were the three companies that made uncontested bids on 16 tracts of land out of 254 tracts made available by the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) annual sale in the western Arctic.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!