World's first solar road installed by Netherlands.
The world's first solar road, which converts sunlight into electricity, will open in The Netherlands this week.
Dubbed SolaRoad, the 230-foot pilot lane—located in Krommenie in North Holland—consists of 8-by-11-foot prefab concrete slabs, into which solar cells are fitted underneath a layer of tempered glass.
In partnership with independent research organization TNO, the SolaRoad project has been under development since 2009, with the goal to realize "the dream that large parts of the road surface in the Netherlands will act as a large solar panel," according to the project website.
Over time, that power will be put to use in practical applications like street lighting, traffic systems, electric cars driving on the surface, and even households.
"The idea behind SolaRoad is simple: sunlight falling on the road surface is absorbed by solar cells and converted into electricity—the road surface acts as a large solar panel," the site said. "The electricity generated in this way will find practical applications in street lighting."
"This could be a breakthrough in the field of sustainable energy supply," TNO's Sten de Wit said in a statement. "In particular, if the road concept will develop into a system, with which the generated electricity is transported to the vehicles driving on the road. Subsequently, a big step toward an energy-neutral mobility system will be possible."
When are you moving to the Netherlands?
So they ditched the idea of them being octagonal, or is this another group, separate from the "solar freakin' roadways" people?
Either way, that's pretty cool. I remember while proposing this idea, one of the arguments against it, was the fact that roads often get wrecked, and need to be retouched every few years or so. So one of the biggest problems with these roads, that our current roads didn't so much of, was being a pretty expensive fix. That said, I hope they worked he kinks out of the cost and fix issue, and I want to see how this turns out. Maybe the rest of the world will get on board pretty soon.