If you’ve ridden with a dynamo-powered light, you’ve converted your pedaling power into electricity. Some cyclists have also turned their RPMs into amps that ran everything from toasters to tuners.
Now a Dutch province (where else?) is using the bike path itself to generate ecologically sustainable electrical power.
On Wednesday, elementary school students in Maartensdijk, a village near Utrecht, became the first to ride the 330 meter path. Its prefabricated concrete blocks are embedded with solar cells and coated with a transparent layer that allows sunlight to reach the cells as it protects the path.
|Solar bike lane in the Netherlands |
Arne Schaddelee said, “you have to dare to use innovation” to reach goals like the one the Netherlands set for itself: being climate-neutral by 2040. “And this is very innovative,” the provincial official declared.
But it’s not innovation for innovation’s sake. “We have a very full province,” he explained. “For that reason you have to try dual use.”
His pronouncement could also apply to his country: The Netherlands is one of the world’s most densely populated nations.