In the suburbs of Amsterdam, a 70-meter stretch of solar-powered roadway opened for the public yesterday, on November 12th, 2014.
It’s a bike path that connects the suburbs of Krommenie and Wormerveer near Amsterdam, costing 3m (AUD$4.3m) and serving as a first step to a large plan to use solar panel roads in The Netherlands.
The roadway is “made up of rows of crystalline silicon solar cells, which were embedded into the concrete of the path and covered with a translucent layer of tempered glass.”
The government there hopes to extend the path to 100 meteres by 2016, and expand the solar panel road program as it begins to potentially fund itself, generating power from nothing but sitting there as solar panels do.
The city plans to power everything from electric cars to traffic lights with these solar panels, but imagine if citizens came together to use this technology for themselves, collectively putting voluntary effort into making solar panel roads to power their own households, utilizing the technology with ideas along those lines?
In the future maybe we will see communities live more easily off the grid with technology like this, making government more and more irrelevant with the expanding options for power, water, and all other necessities.
With the expansion of technology like this, there is great potential for an end to an era of monopolies.
About 2000 cyclists composed of anyone from schoolchildren to people commuting to work are now using the solar panel path daily.
The road was titled ‘SolaRoad‘ by the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO).
An article by Science Alert said “The surface of the road has been treated with a special non-adhesive coating, and the road itself was built to sit at a slight tilt in an effort to keep dust and dirt from accumulating and obscuring the solar cells.”
This idea has major potential, namely in the hands of communities with voluntarily raised funds who can decide to power whatever they want in their community with the roadway solar panels. Please share this with as many people as possible, because this is the first glimpse into something that seems like it will have major significance in the future.