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Groundbreaker or gimmick? Dutch test solar power-generating cyclepath


Netherlands

Groundbreaker or gimmick? Dutch test solar power-generating cyclepath

The Dutch are way ahead of most of us when it comes to putting the bicycle at the heart of transport planning, but now they are looking at ways for green transport to produce energy, too.

Solaroad is the world’s first cycle path fitted with embedded solar panels, providing electricity without taking up new land, even if roof panels are more efficient.

“This is not economically feasible but we will make it so. We are working on it very hard and have put in five years already, and we will continue to work on it so that in the future it is feasible,” said Dutch Economic Affairs Minister Henk Kamp.

The path comes in prefabricated sections two and a half by three metres wide and the 70-metre stretch just inaugurated in Amsterdam cost three million euros.

The developers say that eventually electric cars could draw power directly from the roads they use, and that they hope to have a commercial version of Solaroad in five years.

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