A solar cycle path in Krommenie (Netherlands) has generated more energy than expected over the past six months, energy engineers have said.

In the first six months since the installation of the 70-metre-long path, it has produced 3 000kWh of electricity, equivalent to the annual use by a Dutch single-person household.

‘If we translate this to an annual yield, we expect more than 70kWh per square metre per year,’ said Sten de Wit, a spokesman for SolaRoad, the public-private partnership which developed the infrastructure.

‘We predicted [this] as an upper limit in the laboratory stage. We can therefore conclude that it was a successful first half year.’

The path is a test case and is constructed of mass-produced solar panels and layers of glass, silicon rubber and concrete. Although the path has seen use by some 150 000 cyclists since installation, it can bear weights of up to 12 tonnes.

The group behind the project is currently working on refining the technology and are in talks with other Dutch municipalities on future solar cycle paths. A co-operation agreement with the US state of California has also been signed. 

Original author: Lewis Macdonald
Picture: SolarRoad