Considering that the Netherlands one of the world’s most bike-friendly countries AND one of its most environmentally conscious ones, it’s no surprise that Dutch city of Krommenie, a northern suburb of the nation’s capital, Amsterdam, is set to become the first city in the world to create a solar-powered bike path, according to The Guardian.
The project, known as SolaRoad, has been in development since 2009, when the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) led a team consisting of both road construction and technical service providers to explore the solar potential of Holland’s roads. According to their estimates, 87,000 miles of road in the Netherlands provide between 150 and 190 square miles of surface area that could potentially be tapped for solar power.
According to Discover, the pilot bike lane, which will open next Wednesday, was built using square concrete modules that were fitted with solar cells. The cells are protected using a one centimeter-thick layer of tempered glass. While that doesn’t sound like adequate protection, the modules can support the weight of a truck without cracking. However, the panels generate 30% less energy than rooftop panels due to their fixed position.