I do appreciate the comments and discussion on this topic...

Kathleen, for clarification, the Eindhoven bike path highlighting Van Gogh is a different project than SolaRoad. It is a bit confusing since they both appeared to open the same day.  Eindhoven is located in the southern part of the Netherlands, approximately 80 miles south of Amsterdam.  SolaRoad is located in north part of the Netherlands (Krommenie), approximately 15 miles north of Amsterdam.

Dr. Vetter, I agree that the costs for a such a pilot project are exorbitant, but let me make a few comments on this aspect.  The costs are not only associated with the actual construction of the road, but they incorporate the three years worth of research that will be conducted to optimize this design.  This is only a pilot project and if costs are not "trimmed" as part of the optimization then obviously this will not become a reality.  But the techno-economical feasibility studies that have been conducted to date indicate a return of investment within 20 years.
See http://www.solaroad.nl/en/faq/ for more information on this.  Let me also clarify that the electricity generated from the pilot project is sent to the grid and only a small portion of that is used for road lightning.  As I mentioned in the initial post, enough energy will be generated to power two or three average homes.  However, if they were to scale up the project, the infrastructure and capacity to transfer the electrical power will have to be sorted out.  Who knows if this innovation will develop into a sustainable future incorporating solar roads?  Regardless of that fact, I respect the efforts toward innovation and utilizing renewable resources. 



From: Bioenergy and Sustainable Technology Society [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of Kathleen Pagan [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Friday, November 21, 2014 9:45 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Energy Beat from the EU #2/ solar bike path

According to the information below (I received this via Linked-In from a former UF Planning student now in her native Netherlands), there is also a cultural tourism component to this solar bike lane project which will provide economic return in addition to lighting/energy impacts. 

“The opening of the bike path is also the start of the international theme year Van Gogh in 2015.”

Also I don’t which distance for the path is correct since CNN reports 230 Feet (ft) =  70.104 Meters (m).

Information provided from the (translated) Netherlands news is 600 meters (M) = 1968.5 Feet (ft).

Clarifying this could impact the energy/ cost efficiency analysis results. 


Kathleen Pagan, AICP, Alachua County Growth Management



Info received via Linked In from Tessa Koene, UF Graduate MAURP


(Page Translated with Google Translate)

Wednesday, November 12th is the innovative Van Gogh in Eindhoven bike path opened by Mayor Van Gijzel, deputy Brigitte van Haaften and Daan Roosegaarde. Also Princess Laurentien was present from the Missing Chapter Foundation. The Van Gogh bike is designed by Daan Roosegaarde and been built.

Sustainable techniques

The cycle path, between Eindhoven and Nuenen, is unique and was taken into account in achieving sustainable innovative techniques. Visitors are surprised at dusk by a design of light and color, inspired by the famous work 'The Starry Night' by Vincent van Gogh. The 600 meter long path is lit by thousands of glow-in-the-dark stones. Street may be less necessary or even unnecessary by using glow-in-the-dark applications in the form of road markings or pearls. This energy is saved.

Van Gogh cycle route

The Van Gogh cycle is part of the Van Gogh cycle route, linking heritage sites of the painter. From In Nuenen, he made his first masterpiece "The Potato Eaters" and explained the Opwettense mill and mill Collse stuck in his paintings. Between these mills the new bike path that bridges the gap between contemporary design, innovation, cultural heritage and tourism in Brabant. The opening of the bike path is also the start of the international theme year Van Gogh in 2015.


[log in to unmask]" alt="http://www.eindhoven.nl/upload_mm/b/5/2/78213_fullimage_van-gogh-fietspad.jpg" height="225" width="300" border="0">

(via Linked In from Tessa Koene, UF Graduate MAURP)-  It's about 600 meters long in Eindhoven (one of our technical-university cities) and works with little glow-in-the-dark peddles. Kind of the same system as the stars I had as a kid on my ceiling. It's designed by Daan Roosegaarde (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daan_Roosegaarde). The lane is designed to look like the famous "The Starry Night", from Van Gogh. The goal of the lane is to show that you don't need lightening as we know it till now, but that this kind of solution works as well.


In the Ministry I work for (infrastructure and environment) Roosegaarde is quite known as well. One of our highways is designed as an innovative highway and we try to work with him a lot. He has great ideas about mainly lightening.





From: Bioenergy and Sustainable Technology Society [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Richard L Vetter
Sent: Thursday, November 20, 2014 7:49 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Energy Beat from the EU #2


I could not read the article without a sense of bewilderment at the huge cost and obvious wastes associated with the 'solar lighted bike path', i.e., $16,086 per lineal foot.  Offer the contract to  qualified bids and I would expect the cost would be less than one-tenth of the above.  Lighted bike paths is a noble objective for safety and convenience; but, the project as presented makes a mockery of sound science and technologies and applications thereof.  There are hundreds of off-site applications for solar that are economical and practical for stand-alone or minimum subsidies. 


R. L. Vetter, PhD; PAS; Dipl. ACAN; President

2811 Edgewater Dr. Elgin, IL. 60124


On Thursday, November 20, 2014 6:04 PM, "Mussoline,Wendy A" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:


Dear BEST members:

The Netherlands continues their sustainable innovations with the world’s first solar road.  SolaRoad opened to the public last week in a small town of Krommenie, located approximately 15 miles northwest of Amsterdam.  SolaRoad is a 230-foot long bike path that collects solar energy by day and lights up by night.  The significance of such a brilliant innovation may not be appreciated in the US since we have relatively few cyclists.  However, the Netherlands is well known for its tremendous network of “fietspaden” (bike paths) as bikes are the primary mode of transportation for the Dutch.  There are more than 13 million bikes for a population of 16.5 million people (nearly one bike per person).  And for those of you that have spent time in Northern Europe in the winter months, you recognize that darkness comes around 4:00PM so lighted bike paths are essential for the commute home from work. 

Not only does SolaRoad provide lighting for commuters, but this small stretch of solar road is expected to generate enough electricity to power two or three average homes annually.  SolaRoad consists of concrete modules overlain with tempered glass and embedded with silicon solar cells that convert sunlight into electricity.  Although the design is less efficient than solar panels on rooftops, the potential surface area on all roadways in the Netherlands is enough to motivate the research.  SolaRoad is a pilot-project that will be researched and optimized over the next three years.  The project is a collaboration among businesses, researchers and the local government and has a price tag of 3.7 million dollars. 



Wendy Mussoline, PhD, PE
Post-doc in Bioenergy and Sustainability Technology Lab