What’s more ‘green’ than riding a bicycle? Riding one on a solar bike trail. Innovator Sten de Wit from the Netherlands asked himself, “Wouldn’t it be nice if our roads act like solar panels? And if we could drive our vehicles with the solar power generated?”
The idea became a reality in November 2014 when SolaRoad was piloted on a 300 foot section of trail in Krommenie, Holland. The road surface absorbs sunlight and converts it into electricity. The generated electricity can be used for street lighting, traffic systems, households, and electric vehicles.
For three years the project will be tested to see how the solar cells hold up, how much energy is produced, and what it’s like to cycle over. So far, it seems to be working. The bike trail was tested six months after opening and the energy produced exceeded expectations. In that short amount of time, over 3,000 kWh were generated, which can provide a single-person household electricity for a year or power an electric scooter to drive 2.5 times around the world!