Bicycling has just become more environmentally friendlier than ever before. In the Netherlands, one bike path that was equipped with solar panels has shown to be an effective energy source. The pathway exists in the Dutch town of Krommenie, and the project was conducted by a company called SolaRoads.
According to an update that was recently posted on the website of the solar project, the path has generated nearly 10,000 kilowatt hours of energy. This is enough power to support three average households for an entire year.
The news gets even better, as the results have greatly exceeded the expectations of the project’s creators. This is because they assumed things like pollution and shade would have limited the effectiveness of the solar panels. But this has proven not to be the case, and the panels have functioned even better than expected.
Based on this success, researchers are looking at other ways that they can construct new infrastructure which would lead to a society that is more sustainable. Another innovative idea would be putting solar panels on roads. Since they take up such a large amount of space anyway, we may as well receive energy from their presence.
This has inspired another company from Idaho called Solar Roadways to start developing parking lots and streets that are made from solar panels. Additionally, the British government has started testing highways that can charge electric vehicles while they are being driven.
One downside is that of the expensive price tag of $3.7 million for SolaRoad’s solar panel bike path project makes it somewhat inefficient in generating new electricity. However, with the fact that it is self-sustaining and proven to be successful, it does have some usefulness.
Plus, while most roads cost more money over the years because of maintenance, a road with solar panels pays for itself simply by existing and passively generating power.