The world’s first solar road was unveiled in the Netherlands on November 12th.
The solar road is actually a 230-foot-long bike path that connects the Amsterdam suburbs of Krommenie and Wormerveer. The path is made up of rows of crystalline silicon solar cells and covered with a thin layer of tempered glass. The energy generated from the road can power things like street and traffic lights or households.
Since the path cannot be adjusted to the position of the sun, the panels will generate approximately 30 percent less energy than those placed on roofs. However, the road is tilted slightly to aid water run-off and achieve a better angle to the sun and its creators expect to generate more energy as the path is extended to 100 metres in 2016.
The road, which costs €3 million (AUD$4.3 million), is a test route developed by the company SolaRoad. Testing will continue for three years to further develop solar roads, company officials said.
School children and commuters see the bike road as very useful and a cool part of their daily commute, with approximately 2,000 cyclists expected to use it on an average day.