solaroadThe concept of solar panels embedded into roads isn’t exactly new. In some ways it is a great idea as roads are everywhere and it doesn’t have to take up a lot of space, as opposed to building solar farms where it will end up taking up a lot of land which cannot be used for anything else.

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Well it looks like over in the Netherlands, a 230-foot stretch of a solar bike path will be opened in the suburbs of Amsterdam. Gone are the asphalt roads that one might expect to see from bike lanes. In its place will be a road whose surface will be covered by a piece of tempered glass. Underneath it will contain crystalline silicon solar cells.

The glass has been designed to withstand weight such as falling steel bars (just to get an idea of how much abuse it can take), and will be skid resistant too to help keep cyclists safe, all of which will cost a whopping $3.75 million. The solar panels are also hooked up to an electric grid and its creators are hoping that come 2016 when the roads are extended, it will generate enough electricity to power two-three households.

Granted it doesn’t seem like much, but if anything it’s a good start. Presumably the energy generated could also end up powering traffic lights and street lamps.

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