The Netherlands government is set to construct a 500m solar-power bicycle lane in the North Brabant province and test its performance for five years post-completion. The project is expected to involve the installation of 600 solar panels on an asphalt surface.
The solar-power bicycle lane will run along the N285 provincial road near Wagenberg, creating a 500m green pathway. The North Brabant government aims to gather more experience in the development of solar-power bicycle lanes through this initiative. Two similar projects have already been implemented near the N395 highway in Oirschot and the N324 highway near Herveld.
Government authorities will continuously assess electricity generation, resistance to mechanical stress from pedestrians and cyclists, and maintenance costs in the five years following completion.
The Netherlands is no stranger when it comes to solar-power bicycle lanes. The first of such lanes was established in Amsterdam in 2016, followed by another in the Utrecht province in 2020. However, the economic feasibility of these projects remain uncertain, as factors such as uneven shadows from pedestrians and bicycles create challenges in electricity generation. Furthermore, the impact of weight on the modules is also a concern.
Dutch authorities—while constrained by land availability—are striving to find suitable locations for large-scale solar power plants. Consequently, research institutions and companies have been exploring the possibility of installing solar panels on non-agricultural land, including dikes, rooftops, and nearshore waters. The provincial government has also stated that the Wagenberg solar bicycle lane is part of the larger Zon op Infra initiative, which involves deploying solar installations along highways and on noise barriers, making use of any available space.
(Image Source: North Brabant)