World's first solar bike path to open in the Netherlands
The SolaRoad is strong enough to be traveled by multiple cyclists at once. (Photo from SolaRoad)
Published Monday, October 27, 2014 8:58AM EDT
When it comes to cycling, the Dutch are always ahead of the curve. Their latest innovation is the Solaroad, the world's first bicycle path made of energy-generating solar panels. In the northern city of Zaanstad, cyclists will be able to travel the innovative route from Nov. 12.
Instead of tar or concrete, the SolaRoad use special solar panels built to withstand rain, snow, extreme temperatures and -- of course -- the weight of cyclists and pedestrians. Construction on the 70-metre path has been underway since Oct. 6.
By harnessing the sun's rays, the SolaRoad's solar cells are expected to produce enough energy to power up to three households.
In the future, the engineers behind the project hope to extend their innovation beyond bike paths and test solar roads for other vehicles. Eventually, these energy-generating routes could provide electricity for a higher number of households or even power traffic lights, for example.