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The Netherlands has laid the world's first solar road – we go eyes-on to investigate


My significant other, Jessica Hall, happens to be spending a semester in Amsterdam and was willing to trek out to the Krommenie-Wormerveer cross-connection to see this solar roadway in action.

Below, we'll answer some common questions people have raised about the projects and the road itself. One thing to know about the Netherlands is that biking is huge there, despite the wet, maritime climate. Building a solar bike path isn't a throwaway gesture as it is in the United States, and the bike path itself, as you'll see, is laned like a modern road. This project is built by SolaRoad — it's different from the crowdfunded Solar Roadways project that we wrote about earlier this year.

At present, only 70 meters of a planned 100 meters has been completed and only one side. This stretch of path is bathed in consistent sunlight for most of the day, making it a good test case for the project. In the image above, the solar road is on the left, the traditional concrete is on the right.

Size and composition

One of the questions readers have raised is what traction could be like on a solar roadbed. According to Jess, the road is heavily textured and bumpy to the point that she'd be less afraid of wiping out on concrete than on the solar section.

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