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Welcome to the New Age: World’s First Solar Road to Open in Netherlands

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It was just a few months back when we brought you news of a project here in the United States to create solar roadways—er, sorry, solar freakin’ roadways. The project went viral online and quickly earned its funding amount.

World’s First Solar Road

The solar freakin’ roadway panels that are being worked on here in the States

Still, the duo behind the solar freakin’ roadways couldn’t quite beat the Netherlands to the punch, as the country will be opening the world’s first solar road on Wednesday of this week. The road in question is actually a road for bikes, connecting two suburbs in Amsterdam. In total, this first solar road is only 230 feet long and cost about $3.75 million to create. Of course, the cost is so high, as this is a project in its early stages of development. Also keep in mind that the roads require less money over time, as maintenance is easier and needed less often, and the roads generate electricity using the sun.

When the road is completed in 2016 at a full 328 feet, the creators hope that it will generate enough electricity to power two or three homes. It’s possible that the technology could one day be used to power traffic lights or street lamps.

The solar road uses crystalline silicon solar cells that are covered by tempered glass and encased in concrete. They are designed (non-adhesive finish and slight tilt) to stay clean without much effort, meaning they can gain maximum sunlight.

Solar roadways could be the way of the future, if we can foot the bill up front. According to the folks at the solar freakin’ roadways project, switching all of the roads in the US to solar roadways would generate three times as much energy as the country currently uses, cutting our greenhouse gas usage by a staggering 75%.

Still not sold on the benefits? Check out the original solar freakin’ roadways video below:

News Source: The Guardian, Solar Roadways