Dutch province unveils solar bicycle path, forgetting it’s not on the equator

Posted: July 14, 2021 by oldbrew in Energy, ideology, Incompetence
Tags: , ,


Cycling is popular in the Netherlands [image credit: expatica.com]

There’s a reason why fixed solar panels should be, and usually are, angled at about 35-40 degrees in northern Europe. It’s called the optimal tilt angle. This cycle path with panels flat on the ground is so simple-minded it’s embarrassing, or ought to be.
– – –
Authorities in a central Dutch province opened what they are billing as the world’s longest solar bicycle path Wednesday, mixing sustainable energy with emission-free travel, says TechXplore.

Students from a local elementary school were the first to ride along the 330-meter-long (360-yard) path located in the village of Maartensdijk, near Utrecht.

It is made up of blocks of prefabricated concrete topped with a thin transparent layer that protects and allows sunlight to hit solar cells encased in the blocks.

The pilot project is aimed at establishing if such dual-use roads can be more widely used to create solar energy and serve cyclists as the province of Utrecht seeks to slash its carbon emissions.

“It’s very important. We want to be climate-neutral in 2040, and then you have to dare to use innovation, and this is very innovative,” Arne Schaddelee, a provincial official, said.

“We have a very full province with not much room, and for that reason you have to try dual use. So if you can use roads to generate energy, you have a double advantage.”

The solar cycle path was launched on the day the European Union unveiled sweeping new legislation to help meet its pledge to cut emissions of the gases that cause global warming [Talkshop comment – evidence-free assertion] by 55% over this decade, including a controversial plan to tax foreign companies for the pollution they cause.

Solar bike lanes are already in use elsewhere in the Netherlands.

Full article here.

  1. Douglas Dragonfly says:

    So it generates electricity on a good day, then what?
    Are there batteries somewhere to power street lights at night ? I wonder how much it cost ?

  2. Graeme No.3 says:

    The first solar bikeway had to be abandoned after a short trial.
    The SolaRoad, the first road in the world made of solar panels, was launched in Krommenie, the Netherlands. The path was formally opened in November 2014 by the Dutch Minister of Energy Henk Kamp. By January 2020, extensive damage was apparent on the path, which had lead to the installation of a sign warning of ‘Bad Road Surface’.
    The path was removed in November 2020.

    If at first you don’t succeed, spend more taxpayers money again (and again).

  3. Curious George says:

    I used to have a better opinion of the Dutch.

  4. jb says:

    @ Curious George
    Ditto, and the Scots, and the Norskers, Germans, Greeks…
    But there is nothing to crow about with the majority of my own countrymen either.

  5. ivan says:

    Didn’t Einstein say “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

    We should understand all the green zealots and climate activists are well on the road to being totally insane and look at the real world resultsj just throw more of other peoples money at it regardless.

  6. oldbrew says:

    ‘the 330-meter-long (360-yard) path’ = ‘world’s longest solar bicycle path’ ?
    – – –
    Not exactly momentous.

  7. Steve Richards says:

    This will be the result of the recent court ruling that the dutch government is not doing enough to fight global warming. The belgiums tried it, the french tried it at an aggregated cost of 8.000.000€. Neither road was an economic success. But hey, it looked good for a little while and the green chest thumping was impressive

  8. oldbrew says:

    Soon the green desperadoes will unveil some new gimmick to wave at impressionable followers of such frippery.

  9. Gamecock says:

    “It’s very important.”

    Nah. Not really.

    How much electricity is generated and what’s done with it is conspicuously absent.

    ‘The pilot project is aimed at establishing if such dual-use roads can be more widely used to create solar energy and serve cyclists as the province of Utrecht seeks to slash its carbon emissions.’

    Or you could hire an engineer to determine that. Without pouring any concrete.

    Hmmm . . . such details absent. I suspect they did, engineer told them no, and they built it anyway. Press release includes zero information about performance and cost.

    I think I know the answer.

  10. tom0mason says:

    Probably costs a few €100k and over a year on average it intermittently supply enough ‘energy’ (ELECTRICITY) for a few tens of bicycles to be partially charged.
    Then after a couple more cold winters and reasonably warm (or hot) summers and more use, the maintenance cost will start to kick in – might even start before then if too many electric bike batteries self-immolates on the path’s surface.

    For a closer look at the virtual signaling road and the ‘feel good’ advert it gives to the users when looking at the metering, see HERE (It’s a very BIG picture from the techxplore.com article linked to above).

  11. oldbrew says:

    The same solar panels on the cycle way would produce more electricity if sited at the optimal angle at the side of it 🙄

  12. Douglar Dragonfly says:

    This 360 long by ? wide path. Constructed more as a gimick than for genuinely practical reasons. It must of required a great deal of fossil fuel in its manufacture, yet the benefit to the cyclist is negligible.
    Smooth ashfelt surfaces (reduce friction) may prolong battery life many times over thus both more cost and electricity effective.
    A bit like bamboo bicycles, can be made, (with steel joints and chains etc.) but other than novelty value there’s little point.

  13. Gamecock says:

    “Solar panels have gotten so cheap, they are paving roads in Holland with them.”

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