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Solliance and its network of 32 different parties have started a project around the innovative integration of thin and flexible solar cell materials in road surfaces and noise barriers. The local industry and building companies, research institutes and public stakeholders are brought together in this consortium to stimulate both the regional economy and the energy transition.

An event today at High tech Campus Eindhoven – Solliance’s headquarters – marked the official start of the project that is funded by the EU’s Interreg fund. The project, named “Rolling Solar”, is coordinated by research institute TNO. Stakeholders are located in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. Rolling Solar aims to generate at large scale solar electricity on public road infrastructure.

“Solar modules will provide an increasing part of our future energy demand, as they can be produced at low cost and with high energy efficiency, a spokesperson for Solliance says. “But for power generation of hundreds of gigawatts, they require a large area to collect the sunlight: roadmaps towards 2050 predict total solar module areas up to 1.400 km2 for the Netherlands alone. To make optimal use of the available area, and to generate power close to the location where it is needed, it is highly desirable to integrate solar modules into road construction materials as these represent a vast area of already built surfaces and power demand for transport will be increasingly electric.” The Netherlands has over 1.000 km2 in its road network.

The project also aims to reduce the financial cost for energy generation and to develop guidelines for safe and durable integration of solar cells into the built environment.
The 3 years, 5.7 million Euro project, is made possible by financial support from the European Union through the Interreg EMR program, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, and the provinces of Noord-Brabant, Liège, Vlaams-Brabant and Limburg (B).

Main picture: SolaRoad Krommenie, (c) Ingrid Jongens