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Dutch cycle track to generate electricity
Published on:Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - 16:00
A cycle track in North Holland province will be paved with solar cells next year in an effort to use the road surface for energy production.
Provincial government member Bart Heller told reporters that the solar cells will be integrated into "a thick glass-like surface which will not become slippery and is resistant to weathering". Mr Heller pointed out that there are tens of thousands of kilometres of road surface in the Netherlands which receive a lot of sunlight and "it would be great if we could convert that into sustainable energy". The cycle track is near the town of Krommenie, north of Amsterdam.
The solar paving material is known as SolaRoad and is being developed by the TNO applied research institute in close collaboration with the province of North Holland and two companies. Mr Heller pointed out that the electricity generated could be used to charge electric cars. "That's a genuine move towards zero emission, bearing in mind that electricity generation is at present producing CO2."
The road-surface generated energy could also be stored locally and used to illuminate the road at night.
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