Germany has recently unveiled its first solar PV bike path, signaling a potential trend for similar projects in the country. Covering bike paths with solar PV roofs is considered an ideal cleantech solution. It provides shade or protection from rain for cyclists, who already use the cleanest mode of transportation. Moreover, it ensures their separation from roadways and offers protection from drivers. Additionally, installing solar power on these roofs is cost-effective and does not compete for space with other activities or infrastructure. While solar PV bike paths are currently uncommon, this development suggests a possibility of more such initiatives in the future.
Badenova, a green energy company, installed the solar bike path near SC Freiburg's football stadium in Freiburg, southern Germany. The stadium itself is already equipped with solar panels. The solar PV system installed in the bike path has a capacity of 287 kW and consists of 900 Solarwatt translucent glass-glass solar modules. The Solarwatt translucent glass-glass solar modules used in the bike path installation have undergone specific manufacturing and testing for this type of application. They have received general technical approval from the German Institute for Building Technology (DIBt), making them classified as regulated building products that can be used without limitations in both private and public sectors. These solar modules are suitable for overhead and facade installations, eliminating the need for individual checks or additional security measures.
Solar PV bike paths indeed offer a logical and complementary combination of green technologies. Despite their potential, it is surprising that they have not yet become a significant business venture.