SolaRoad is a road that also works as a solar panel. The potential for generating electricity in this way is large, as the entire Dutch road network comprises approximately 137,000 kilometres. The expected yield in electricity is 50 kWh per square metre per year.
The current design concept for the SolaRoad bike path as presented by TNO consists of modules. The bike path is composed of concrete elements of 1.5 by 2.5 metres with a glass topmost layer. Beneath the cover of tempered, approx. 1 cm thick glass lie crystalline silicon solar cells. How the energy is used will have to be developed in cooperation with the partners in the pilot project, by means of smart ict applications. These assist in distributing the energy production at peak times (much sun) as efficiently as possible for the times with less or no sun. A precondition is that SolaRoad meets at least the requirements for regular roads and bike paths, for instance regarding skid resistance and maintenance. This will require a lot of additional development. The next practical step in this project is realising a first practical application of SolaRoad in the form of a bike path. This is foreseen for 2012.