Might the roads we drive on soon produce the energy we consume?

In partnership with The European Commission
Might the roads we drive on soon produce the energy we consume?
Copyright euronews
By Aurora Velez
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As part of the 'Rolling Solar' project, the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in the Netherlands tries to create green energy via photovoltaic cells on roads.

Brightlands Chemelot Campus in the Netherlands is taking part in the 'Rolling Solar' project.

This European initiative aims to create green energy from roads in a cost-effective and efficient way using photovoltaics.

Two sections of the road on the campus are already equipped with photovoltaic cells. Professor of applied sciences, Zeger Vroon, and his students study the number of vehicles traveling on them, the wear and tear on the technology and its efficiency in different weather conditions. The team is committed to the energy transition and they share green values and goals.

Vroon tells euronews that the Netherlands is starting the energy transition with about five gigawatts being produced from renewable energies. "We have to get to 250 gigawatts by 2050", he adds. The country expects to create one-fifth or 20 per cent of this from integrating photovoltaics into the country's existing infrastructure.

"A huge amount will have to come from solar roads", he argues because the Netherlands is a very densely populated country where it will not be possible to install fields of photovoltaics. This is why he thinks that "it's important to integrate the solar panels into buildings and infrastructures."

As for Vroon's students, they agree that putting solar cells on roads or on already existing buildings is a very positive choice. Student Giel Embregts says that making roads create green energy is something they can do for the next generation. Also in regards to aesthetics, they look the same as any other road, but the properties are totally different. You might not even realise you have driven over one.

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