Remember Scott Bursaw’s ingenious solar roadways prototype? Now, the small town of Krommenie in Northern Holland is planning to pilot a similar concept on cycling paths. Developed by Dutch innovation consultancy TNO, Sola Road consists of concrete panels with embedded thick crystalline silicon solar cells, covered by a toughened glass surface. Smart apps maximize energy retention during peak sunlight times and efficiently store it during low-light periods.
With expected electricity output of 50 kWh per square meter per year, Sola Road could power everything from traffic systems to street lighting to nearby residential units. In Holland alone, where the road network spans nearly 85,000 miles, the concept’s energy generation potential is astounding.
Maria Popova is the editor of Brain Pickings, a curated inventory of miscellaneous interestingness. She writes for Wired UK, GOOD Magazine and Design Observer and spends a shameful amount of time on Twitter.