The Worlds First Solar Bike Lane
With a stark report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, (IPCC), regarding the state of the environment and continued use of fossil fuels it’s time for politicians to stand up and take notice. No longer can they hide their heads in the sand as change is required and soon. Ban Ki-moon was quoted as saying “There is a myth that climate action will cost heavily,” “…but inaction will cost much more.”
Well it’s positive to see that even though many politicians are slow to react to the demands for climate change some countries are steaming ahead with new and inventive initiatives. One such country is the Netherlands, who have just unveiled the world’s first solar bike lane. Unlike the solar panels for charging phones or lights, the panels used in the “Solar road” project are encased in concrete and covered in a one inch layer of glass that can withstand the weight of a truck.
Made from interlocking rectangular concrete modules containing solar cells the bike lane is 70 meters long and located in Krommenie, some 25 Kilometers from Amsterdam. The pilot project should produce enough energy to power three households and will be extended to 100 meters by 2016.
It doesn’t come cheap, as so far the project has cost some 1.5 million Euros and it’s thought the final cost will be about 3 million Euros. While the solar road panels are around 30% less efficient that roof mounted panels it does shows how solar panels could be used in the future. Dr Sten de Wit from the consortium behind the project believes that this sort of road could be used to power the electric vehicles that use them. This could be electric cars, bikes, Uni wheels, scooters or even skateboards. As Dr de Wit explained “Electric vehicles are on the rise, but are not really a substitute until the electricity they use is generated in a sustainable way. Roads can generate power right where it is needed,” you can read more about the electric road from the BBC article.