Solar bike paths surpass energy expectations - BikeBiz

Solar bike paths surpass energy expectations

Netherlands trial off to a great start as 70-metre length delivers 3,000 kWh
Publish date:

A solar panel clad 70-metre bike path in the Netherlands is outstripping feedback predictions just six months into the trial by generating enough electricity to power a small household for a year. 

With the added perk of lighting up by night to guide riders, the solar paths have in the first six months delivered 3,000kWh. On a fine sunny day, the paths can produce enough power to feed three small homes.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, SolaRoad’s Sten de Wit said: "If we translate this to an annual yield, we expect more than the 70kwh per square metre per year."

Tough enough to support a 12 tonne truck and with engineered in surface grip, the paths are made up of cheap mass-produced solar panels sandwiched between layers of glass, silicon rubber and concrete.

Connected to smart metres, the trail path’s electricity supply currently powers the street lighting.

Some 150,000 cyclists have thus far used the route and with results so far delivering positive feedback, the technology looks set to expand in the Netherlands. SolaRoad has also signed a cooperation agreement with the US state of California.

"Solar panels on roofs are designed to have a lifetime, which is typically 20/25 years," added de Wit.

"This is the type of lifetime that we also want for these types of slabs. If you have a payback time of 15 years then afterwards you also have some payback of the road itself so that makes the road cheaper in the end."

Back in 2013 a UK-made UV-powered 'star path' was laid down in Cambridge. Read more about that here.

Featured Jobs

the cycle hub

Showroom Manager

The Cycle Hub I Dubai, United Arab Emirates I Competitive Package & Bonus I Date Published Tuesday 26th June 2018

Giant St Paul Logo

Bike Fitter / Sales Person

Giant St Pauls I City of London I Salary: Negotiable Dependent on Experience I Date Published Thursday 21st June 2018


Bike Technician

Chain Reaction Cycles I Ballyclare I Competitive Salary & Benefits Package I Date Published Monday 2nd July 2018


Brand Content Writer

Canyon Bicycles GmbH I Koblenz, Germany I Salary: Up to €38,000 I Date Published Tuesday 3rd July 2018


Retail Sales Advisor

Chain Reaction Cycles I Belfast I Competitive Salary & Benefits Package I Date Published Monday 2nd July 2018