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Some time ago the Netherlands , in the context of clean energy, created the SolaRoad . It was the first cycle path made up of solar panels. A prototype project that wanted to test the feasibility of various proposals in the field of renewables for the construction of intelligent motorways. It was a 72 meter route opened to the public in 2014 .
The Dutch government , always at the forefront of new environmentally friendly ideas , has carried out other studies for innovative cycle paths, but the economic results of an installation of this type seem rather controversial . However, other installations have come to life such as the one in the province of Drenthe which installed solar panels along the sides of the A37 motorway .
The project also inspired another country on the other side of the world. I’m talking about South Korea . The route is longer and connects the two autonomous cities of Sejong and Daejong . The bike path is located right in the middle of a highway with three lanes of traffic on both sides .
A highway with a very particular cycle path inside it
The track is surrounded by barriers to protect cyclists who, on the other hand, do not have any type of panorama to look at during the journey . It is entirely covered with solar panels. The energy produced powers the highway lighting system and a series of charging stations for electric vehicles .
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Unlike the Dutch one where the panels covered the road surface and, consequently, did not have a happy outcome , here they form the canopy . In this way they act as a shelter for cyclists from both the sun and the rain. The route is always practicable and was designed to relieve traffic congestion which is always very intense between these two cities .
There are approximately seven thousand panels and they cover half of the 9 kilometers that connect the two Korean cities. Annual production is around 2,200 MWh of annual electricity production. So, while bicycle lovers can travel safely , the country produces and supplies clean electricity .
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A starting point also for all other European countries. Here in Italy , there are many motorways, expressways and ring roads . It might be an idea to build some cycle paths alongside or inside some of these. Cyclists or those who are tired of using the car could welcome this type of solution