#682 The Dutch: We Still Have A Room!

Holland, as one of the nominees in the big ten of countries who has taken the most benefit from renewable energy sources for its electricity, has installed instruments for producing alternative power everywhere in the country. With the total of 41,543 square kilometers, the country simply requires 800 square kilometers of solar panel installed in order to cover the need of electricity. Since it is impossible to create entirely free spaces for the panels, the Dutch play it smart by installing some of them on buildings’ and houses’ roof, and even smarter that they are trying to install the panels on the road. The project is piloted on a cycling path.

But why a cycling path?

The fact that there is 113,018 kilometer of paved road and the increasing numbers of people who prefer to ride bicycle, has encouraged cities in the country to provide more lanes for the cyclists. One of the cycling paths in Krommenie, a city in Northwest of Amsterdam, is having 1.5-2.5 cm of solar panels installed on it. These solar panels are designed in such a way that they can hold truck’s weight. It is estimated that the electricity obtained from the sunrays at midday will be able to power streetlights, traffic lights, and even houses nearby. The cycling path is chosen because bicycle will not cover the entire streets even during a traffic jam.

Another creative idea has been applied in 2009, when an organization called the Sustainable Dance Club produced the Sustainable Dance Floor (SDF) and has it installed at a club and bar in Rotterdam called Watt. This dance floor panel will produce kinetic energy which is stimulated by dancing steps of the clubbers. A battery bar is projected on the wall which, according to the club owner, is to show the clubbers the level of electricity they have produced. Every person who dances energetically tend to produce 20 W, not so much in contributing to the city, but enough to cut the power bill of the building. On the same year, the variant of the floor, a single tile panel, was installed at a paved road of Toulouse, France and the two-week trial resulted in powering one street light which is derived from 8 panels.

In the future, I am picturing to have SDF installed in crowded public places such as sidewalks, crossroads, or jogging tracks in order to obtain bigger energy; or hopefully solar panels covering median of highways. Consideration of budget should not limit the benefit in the long run, it is an infestation and it is covering even more world problems, such as obesity, the decreasing of fossil fuels comparing with the demands, air pollution, etc. Furthermore, the use of public places will, as well, indirectly forced people to behave supportively other than creating a big curiosity, for example, if SDF is installed at the jogging track, jogging might become more attractive. The Dutch is right, there is always a room for everything.

– ditulis oleh Ashra Vina


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