The Netherlands, the country of windmills and tulips, is increasingly “green”. The endless trails were not enough, thanks to the great plain produced by Flemish ingenius; cyclists in Amsterdam, in fact, have said goodbye to the old tarmac and ride along a stretch of road that uses renewable energy sources. It’s called SolaRoad, it was inaugurated on 12th November and is the first track for “solar” cyclists because built with a “carpet” lying on the ground integrated with photovoltaic panels which store the energy from the sun.
Despite being just 70 metres long, it quickly produced a lot more energy than what the developers had estimated. It cost 3 million euros, 6 months has already produced 3 thousand kwh electricity, enough for annual needs of a single house or to tour around the world two and a half times with an electric scooter. “We did not expect such a high result in such a short time,” said a spokesman for SolaRoad. The track, which connects Krommenie and Wormerveer-two suburbs of Amsterdam-is crossed daily by 2 thousand cyclists between students and commuters.
SolaRoad is a pilot project that will last three years and which will make surveys and collect data on operation and maintenance, reduced to a minimum: the smooth lining and a slight slope to allow rain to clean it and to have maximum exposure to sunlight.The ultimate goal is to extend the solar cycle to other areas in the Netherlands and abroad, such as in sunny California where a coooperation agreement has already been finalised.
Traslation by Marina Stronati