Wouldn’t it be nice if our roads act like solar panels? And if we could drive our vehicles with the solar power generated by this? In 2009, these questions formed the beginning of a vision for the future: the large-scale generation of renewable energy with the sunlight that falls on 450 km2 road surface every day. In 2009, TNO was present on the innovation-estafette with an open invitation: ‘Dream it and join in’. The Province of Noord-Holland, road construction company Ooms Civiel and technical service provider Dynniq accepted the invitation and now form – together with TNO – the core consortium that is developing SolaRoad: the first road surface that absorbs sunlight and converts it into electricity. The ultimate goal is the realization of the dream that large parts of the road surface in the Netherlands will act as a large solar panel. The generated electricity can be used for street lighting, traffic systems, households and electric vehicles.
Spokesperson Sten de Wit: ‘This could be a breakthrough in the field of sustainable energy supply. In particular, if the road concept will develop into a system, with which the generated electricity is transported to the vehicles driving on the road. Try to imagine that power will then be generated at the place where it is needed. Subsequently, a big step towards an energy-neutral mobility system will be possible.’